Pursuant to Art. 153(2), an international application for which the EPO is a designated or elected Office is deemed to be a European patent application. For information about time limits and procedural steps before the EPO as a designated or an elected Office under the PCT, see the Guide for applicants "How to get a European patent, Part 2: PCT procedure before the EPO – Euro-PCT"latest version of the Guide for applicants: “’Euro-PCT Guide’: PCT procedure at the EPO”.
In order to initiate the European phase, the requirements for entry into the European phase according to Rule 159 must be complied with (see E‑VIII, 2.1.2 and E-VIII, 2.1.3). For entry into the European phase, applicants are strongly recommended to use the most recent edition of Form 1200 obtainable from the EPO free of charge in printed form, as editable electronic document from the EPO website, as part of the Online Filing software or as part of the new online filing (CMS). For further details on the available filing methods see A‑VIII, 2.5.
This Chapter deals with the differences from the practice set out in Part A of the Guidelines when dealing with such international applications as a designated or elected Office. First, however, some specific aspects of the processing of international applications in the procedure before the EPO as designated/elected Office are set out in E‑VIII, 2.2, E-VIII, 2.3 and E-VIII, 2.4 below.