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The "Handbook of quality procedures before the EPO " is the result of an intensive and purposeful co-operation between the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope. The Handbook aims to provide a guide to preferred practices endorsed by both the EPO and user representatives. Its intention is to help to increase the quality of incoming applications, communications from examiners and submissions from parties, as well as to provide for an efficient prosecution. It may also serve as an orientation for attorneys who have less experience with the procedures at the European Patent Office and for candidates preparing for the European Qualifying Examination. The Handbook is meant to serve as complementary publication to the existing legal texts as it provides useful insight on the application of the law. References to the new Guidelines 2012, which will entered into force in June 2012, are made where appropriate.