Errors in publication and formatting/editing errors
Errors in publication occur where the content of the printed specification differs from the documents (Druckexemplar) transmitted to the applicant with the communication under Rule 71(3)
(Form 2004), if these documents form the basis of the decision to grant.
Errors in publication have to be distinguished from changes introduced in the text to be granted after the applicant’s approval but before the decision to grant (G 1/10
). Depending on the circumstances of the case, the patent proprietor has to file an appeal to seek remedy.
The above errors in publication can be corrected at any time (see also C‑V, 10
). The same applies mutatis mutandis to errors in the process for publication of the application and of the amended patent specification following a decision to maintain the patent as amended.
The competence to correct errors in publication lies with the body before which proceedings are or were last pending.
Therefore a request for correction of errors in the publication of the B1 specifications filed during opposition proceedings is dealt with by the opposition division.
Formalities officers are responsible for the correction of publication errors (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 23 November 2015, OJ EPO 2015, A104
Exceptionally, and in consideration of all relevant circumstances of the case, formatting/editing errors which were already contained in the text approved by the applicant may be corrected by the EPO of its own motion or at the request of the patent proprietor. Formatting/editing errors are alterations in the patent documents which occur during the preparation of the Druckexemplar and which are indicated neither by standard marks nor in Form 2004C.
If any correction in the text of the specification as published is allowed, a corrected version of it will be published.
In any other case of discrepancy between the Druckexemplar and Form 2004, the patent proprietor has to file an appeal to seek remedy.