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

What we offer

Free patent information services

Espacenet, the European Patent Register, the Publication Server and Open Patent Services (OPS, up to a weekly volume of 2,5 GB) are available free of charge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What we ask

Human users

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

You can help us maintain a trouble-free service by taking note of 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

The REST interfaces of Publication Server and Open Patent Services (OPS) are the solutions for automated access.

In order to avoid overloading OPS, please note the following:

Test access via anonymous client

  • Test access is supported only for low usage levels
  • The threshold for individual users (IP addresses) is 10 search-related actions per minute.

Registered access

  • Registered access is suited for more substantial access, such as automated data retrieval (by robots) or access via third party portals (e.g. software packages in which OPS is only one part of the service offered)
  • Access is permitted for reasonable amounts of data only. OPS should not be used for bulk data retrieval. If you need extremely large sets of data, please contact us at We offer a range of options and carriers to meet your bulk data needs.
  • You will need to register and accept the corresponding Terms and Conditions for the use of OPS. Please refer to for further information and registration.
  • Downloading data via OPS is free of charge up to a maximum data volume of 2.5 Gigabyte per week
  • As from 2.5 Gigabyte per week the following price applies: EUR 64,- per Gigabyte
  • 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 strongly recommend scheduling data retrieval activities by robots between 19.00 and 07.00 hrs GMT or at weekends.

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