FAQ - European Patent Register

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European Patent Register

Federated Register

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European Patent Register


What is the online European Patent Register?

The online European Patent Register (formerly Register Plus) service is a one-stop shop for all the information available via the European Patent Register and Online Public File Inspection services. It also allows you to access the data in Espacenet and Open Patent Services (patent family information and INPADOC legal status).


How much does it cost to use the European Patent Register?

The European Patent Register is free of charge.


How can I access the European Patent Register?

You can access the European Patent Register in either a secure or non-secure environment. To access the Register in a non-secure environment, just click on the link below. To access the Register in a secure environment, you need to enrol for a username/password.

  • To apply for username/password access, all you have to do is register online and you will receive your password within a few minutes via return e-mail.
  • Enrol for a username and password

Is more data available in the European Patent Register in the secure environment than in the non-secure area?

No. The same data is accessible in both the secure and non-secure environments.


When will a document become visible in the European Patent Register?

  1. For publicly available outgoing communications: on the day after the date of despatch.
  2. For publicly available incoming communications: once the filed document has been coded by the EPO. Please note that the date displayed alongside a document in the All documents view is the date of receipt by the EPO.

Why are two or more parent applications displayed in About this file?

The European Patent Register cannot distinguish between different generations and will call all previous applications "parent application". The more recent application is the parent and the older one the grandparent application, and so on.


How do I search for files in the European Patent Register?

You can choose between three kinds of search: Quick Search, Advanced Search and Smart Search. The Advanced Search and Smart Search buttons are displayed on the Quick Search screen.

When you open the European Patent Register, the Quick Search option is displayed by default. You select a category in the drop-down list and enter a search term in the adjacent field. The Quick Search function allows you to find matches for any one of the following terms:

  • EP publication number (e.g. EP1023455)
  • EP application number - a sequence of eight digits (e.g. 99203729) or the Espacenet data format (e.g. EP19990402065 or WO1998US04141)
  • WO publication number (e.g. WO0133678)
  • date of filing (yyyymmdd)
  • date of publication (yyyymmdd)
  • priority number
  • priority date (yyyymmdd)
  • name of applicant, representative, inventor, opponent
  • IPC classification symbol (eg G09G5/00)

To switch to the Advanced Search option, all you have to do is click the Advanced Search button. Advanced Search allows you to find matches for a combination of terms.

In the drop-down list, select a category and enter a search term in the adjacent field. There are also two other drop-down lists, both preceded by the word AND, with corresponding data entry fields. You can use these to search a maximum of three categories with corresponding search term(s).

Smart Search interprets your search according to whether you enter applicant or inventor names, IPC classes, publication or application numbers, etc. You can find out more about Smart Search and the CQL search language it uses on the Register page.


Why am I getting no search results?

The European Patent Register allows you to consult published EP, EURO-PCT and PCT files. If it does not display a European/international application, this could be because the application:

  • has not yet been published
  • has been withdrawn.

Can I use Boolean operators in the European Patent Register?

Yes, you can use AND, OR and NOT to qualify your search terms in all the available search fields.


How do I search for words which include diacritical characters (ü, ö, etc.) and/or accents (é, è, etc.) in the European Patent Register?

Diacritical characters and characters with accents are not supported. For example, to find an applicant called "Hüls", you must enter "Huls". To find an inventor called "Hervé Roussel", you must enter "Roussel Herve".


Why would I want to use the European Patent Register with a username/password?

Using the Register with a username/password means that you can perform searches in a secure environment. The data available in the secure and non-secure environments is exactly the same.


I am in the results screen in the European Patent Register and would like to see the file history. What do I do?

Click "Show history" at the top of the results screen next to the application number and title.


Where are the annexes to Form 2001A?

Form 2001A is not used anymore. When it was used, it referred to deficiencies indicated in the European search opinion. It did not have separate annexes indicating those deficiencies.


Do all events trigger a "most recent event" in the European Patent Register?

Not all events trigger a "most recent event". The link below contains a list of those that do. Event codes appear in the Register whenever bibliographic data fields in the EPO's internal system are changed. Events that happen to the file only (e.g. scanning of a document, steps in the appeal procedure that have no effect on data content) and which do not lead to changes in the system do not appear in the Register, and therefore do not generate an event code.


How do I call up an application in the European patent bulletin?

Just enter the publication number in the correct format, e.g. 1 234 567.


What kind of data can I download in PDF format from the European Patent Register?

All the documents you can view using the Register can be downloaded in a PDF format.


Can I download any data in XML format from the European Patent Register?

All the bibliographic data from the available panels (About this file, Legal status, etc.) can be downloaded as a single XML file.


At what stage in the life of a PCT file can I see that it is deemed to have been withdrawn?

The European Patent Register displays this information about 35 months after the filing date of the earliest priority.


In Event history, can I switch the date sort order from ascending (the default) to descending?

Yes. The Date column has arrows next to it which you can click to allow you to sort items in either ascending or descending order.


How do I get RSS feeds for Maintenance news and News flashes?

In either section, simply click on the RSS icon and your web browser will prompt you to subscribe to the news feed. Firefox and Internet Explorer 8.x come with a built-in RSS reader but users of Google Chrome will need to download one. Feedly is a free RSS reader popular with Chrome users.

Feedly


How do I report an error or provide feedback about the EP Register?

While looking at an application, you will see Report error in the toolbar. When you click this, a contact form appears with the topic, subject and application number pre-entered for your convenience.


Can I monitor an application under a WO number and an EP number?

No. The Monitored applications function does not permit duplicates.


Federated Register


What is the Federated Register?

The Federated Register is a new section built into the EP Register that provides data on the legal status of an EP patent document in the national phase. A single click takes you  to a clear overview of the registers of all the designated contracting states.

Who is it for?

The Federated Register is for anyone who has a professional interest in knowing the legal status of one or more EP patents in the national phase, such as patent attorneys, IP consultants or industry representatives.


What type of information will be displayed?

For each designated contracting state offering this service you will be able to view:

  • the status of the patent document,
  • the number under which it is published,
  • the proprietor,
  • whether or not a patent is currently in force,
  • when renewal fees were last paid, and
  • when the national register was last updated.

Which countries will be providing data?

For the moment only the EPC member states will provide data to the Federated Register service.

National patent offices must have a web service set up to send this data to the Federated Register section of the EP Register. Please note that a national office may have an online patent register, but this does not necessarily mean that it can respond to EP Register search queries.


How can I get direct access to national office registers?

When a country code has an arrow and is underlined, you can click on it to go directly to that country's register:

Please note that links may not be available for each country.


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