Notice from the European Patent Office dated 19 September 2012 concerning exemption under Rule 141(2) EPC from filing a copy of the search results – utilisation scheme

1. Amended Rule 141(2) EPC provides that a copy of the search results under Rule 141(1) EPC is deemed to be duly filed if it is available to the European Patent Office (EPO) and to be included in the file of the European patent application under the conditions determined by the President of the EPO[1].

2. In October 2010, the President of the EPO decided that the EPO would include the above-mentioned copy in the file of a European patent application where it had drawn up certain types of search report on an application whose priority was claimed, thus exempting applicants in these cases from filing the copy themselves[2].

3. In December 2010, the President of the EPO decided that the EPO also includes a copy of the search results in the file of a European patent application, thus exempting the applicant from filing the copy himself, where the priority of a first filing made in Japan, the United Kingdom or the United States of America is claimed[3].

4. Austria is henceforth providing the EPO in electronic form with the search results covered by Rule 141(1) EPC. By Decision dated 19 September 2012, the President of the EPO has therefore decided that the EPO includes a copy of the search results in the file of a European patent application, thus exempting the applicant from filing the copy himself, where the priority of a first filing made in Austria is claimed[4].

5. As a result, applicants are exempted from filing a copy of the search results under Rule 141(1) EPC if they are claiming the priority of either

- an application on which the EPO drew up a certain type of search report, or

- a first filing made in

            - Austria,

            - Japan,

            - the United Kingdom or

            - the United States of America.



[1] See notice from the European Patent Office dated 28 July 2010 concerning amended Rule 141 EPC and new Rule 70b EPC - utilisation scheme, OJ EPO 2010, 410.

[2] See decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 5 October 2010 on the filing of copies of search results under Rule 141(1) EPC - utilisation scheme, OJ EPO 2010, 600.

[3] See decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 9 December 2010 exempting applicants claiming the priority of a first filing made in Japan, the United Kingdom or the United States of America from filing a copy of the search results under Rule 141(1) EPC - utilisation scheme, OJ EPO 2011, 62.

[4] See decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 19 September 2012 exempting applicants claiming the priority of a first filing made in Austria from filing a copy of the search results under Rule 141(1) EPC - utilisation scheme, OJ EPO 2012, 538.

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