Applications filed by reference to an earlier application
According to Rule 40(1)(c)
, the applicant may file his European application by reference to a previously filed application (A‑II, 188.8.131.52
). Since claims are no longer required in order for a date of filing to be accorded, the applicant has three options:
when filing the European application, indicate that the reference to the previously filed application includes the claims
at the time of filing, file a new set of claims together with an indication that the description and any drawings are filed by reference to a previously filed application
when filing the European application, indicate the reference to a previously filed application and file the claims after the date of filing (Rule 58
In cases (i) and (ii) the claims will form part of the application as originally filed, whereas in case (iii) the claims filed after the date of filing will not and will thus have to fulfil the requirements of Art. 123(2) (see H‑IV, 2.2.3).