This revised version of the Guidelines for Examination will apply as from 1 November 2015. Until then, the September 2014 edition of the Guidelines remains valid.

3. Territorial effect of the opposition

The opposition applies to the European patent in all the contracting statesContracting States in which that patent has effect. Thus the opposition should formally be in respect of all the designated States. If an opposition is filed in respect of only some of the designated States it will be treated as if it were in respect of all the designated States.

Nevertheless, the effect of an opposition may differ as between contracting statesContracting States. This may arise where the patent contains different claims for different contracting statesContracting States in accordance with Rule 18(2) or Rule 138, or where the claims must take account of different art under the provisions of Art. 54(3) and (4) EPC 1973 (see D‑VII, 8, and H‑III, 4.2.1). Thus the patent may be differently amended in respect of different contracting statesContracting States and may be revoked in respect of one or more contracting statesContracting States and not in respect of others.

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