European patent applications may be filed at the EPO at Munich, its branch at The Hague, its sub-office in Berlin (however not in Vienna) or, if the law of a contracting state so permits, at the central industrial property office or other competent authority of that state.
The following table indicates, for each contracting state, whether European patent applications may be filed at the option of the applicant at the EPO or a national authority, which applications must be filed with the national authorities, the languages in which European patent applications are accepted by the national authorities and what special features need to be borne in mind in connection with the filing.
For the purpose of filing an application, a national representative does not need to be appointed if the applicant has neither a residence nor his principal place of business within the territory of the state concerned (Article 133(1) and (2) EPC).
Attention is drawn to the fact that a translation in respect of every application which is not in English, French or German must be filed in one of these languages within two months of filing the European application (Article 14(2), Rule 6(1) EPC). If this translation is not filed in due time, the application is deemed to be withdrawn (Article 14(2), third sentence, EPC).
European divisional applications must always be filed directly with the EPO at Munich, The Hague or Berlin (Article 76(1), first sentence, EPC). The same applies to new European patent applications filed under Article 61(1)(b) EPC (Article 61(2) EPC).
With regard to the languages specified in section 3, applicants are recommended to file applications where possible in the official language(s) of these states as difficulties of communication may arise – in particular in the case of states which have to examine applications in the light of national security regulations - possibly resulting in European patent applications being deemed to be withdrawn because of non‑observance of the time limit for forwarding such applications (Article 77(3) EPC).
This table contains no information on extension or validation states because they are not EPC contracting states and so Article 75(1)(b) EPC does not apply to them.