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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

1.8 Failure to respond within a time limit

If a party has not acted within a time limit, various sanctions may be applied depending on the circumstances. For instance, under Art. 90(2) and Rule 55 the application will not be proceeded with; under Art. 90(5) the application will be refused or a right of priority lost; under Rule 5 a document may be deemed not to have been received. If the request for examination has not been filed in time, the application is deemed to be withdrawn (Art. 94(2)), and this sanction may also apply in those cases where the applicant fails to meet a time limit set by the EPO (e.g. the time limit for replying to an invitation to amend under Art. 94(3)).

If a particular time limit is not complied with and, in contrast to cases where mandatory legal sanctions are laid down (e.g. revocation of the European patent if the publishing fee is not paid in due time (Rule 82(3)), no specific legal sanction is laid down in the EPC, submissions and requests from the parties made after expiry of the time limit but before a decision is handed over to the EPO's internal postal service for transmittal to the parties are to be regarded in the rest of the proceedings as if they had been received in time (see G 12/91); any facts or evidence are, however, to be treated as not filed in due time (Art. 114(2), see also E‑V, 1.2).