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Guidelines for Examination

Transfer of the European patent application 

A European patent application may be transferred for one or more of the designated contracting states.

Without prejudice to Art. 72, the transfer of a European patent application is recorded in the Register of European Patents at the request of an interested party and on production of documents satisfying the EPO that such transfer has taken place. The request is deemed not to have been filed until such time as the prescribed administrative fee has been paid.

Any kind of written evidence suitable to prove the transfer is admissible. A declaration signed by both parties is appropriate, but a declaration of transfer signed by the assignor would in any case be sufficient, as the assignee will in any case be notified by the EPO of the entry in the Register. Formal documentary proof (originals or certified copies), such as the instrument of transfer or official documents verifying the transfer or extracts thereof, are equally appropriate.

If the evidence presented is found to be unsatisfactory, the EPO informs the party requesting the transfer accordingly, and invites it to remedy the stated deficiencies.

If the request complies with the requirements of Rule 22(1), the transfer is registered with the date on which the request, the required evidence or the fee has been received by the EPO, whichever is the latest.

On the above date, the transfer becomes effective vis-à-vis the EPO, i.e. from that date the newly registered applicant is entitled to exercise the right to the European patent application in proceedings before the EPO (Art. 60(3)). If the transfer was for certain designated states only, Art. 118 applies.

The competent department for adverse decisions regarding entries in the Register of European Patents is the Legal Division.