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Fair use charter for the EPO's online patent information products

What we offer

Free patent information services 

What we ask 

Human users

The graphical user interfaces of Espacenet, the European Patent Register and the European Publication Server are for human users only. They are not intended for bulk data retrieval.

Please note the following: 

  • The threshold for individual users (IP addresses) is 10 search-related actions per minute.
  • Automated searches (robots) are not supported and may result in access being denied. For automated queries please use the corresponding REST interfaces.
  • Human users encountering problems due to the service's robot-detection feature should contact the EPO using the "contact" links in the relevant applications.

Automated queries

For automated queries, please use the REST interfaces of the European Publication Server and Open Patent Services (OPS).

Please note the following:

  • For automated queries, such as automated data retrieval (by robots) or access via third-party portals (e.g. software packages in which OPS is part of the service offered), we recommend using OPS.
  • To use OPS (whether for simple testing or for more substantial access), you will need to register and accept the terms and conditions for the use of OPS. See the OPS page for further information and registration.
  • Downloading data via OPS is free of charge up to a maximum data volume of 2.5GB per week ("free threshold").
  • For data volume in excess of the free threshold weekly limit, a flat rate (yearly subscription) applies. See the brochure "EPO Patent Information Products and Services - Price list" for further details.
  • If you need extremely large sets of data, please contact us at patentdata@epo.org. We offer a range of options to meet your bulk data needs.
  • For both the European Publication Server and OPS, the maximum traffic volume allowed is approximately 1 Mbit per second. The maximum data volume, connection rates and other access conditions may vary depending on operational circumstances.
  • We recommend scheduling data retrieval activities by robots between 19.00 and 07.00 hrs GMT or at weekends.

October 2017

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