How to get a European patent, Guide for applicants


18th edition, June 2018, updated to
1 April 2018

The "Guide for applicants" has been designed to provide inventors, companies and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in applying for a European patent, offering practical advice to smooth the way through the various stages.

Content description

This updated 18th (June 2018) edition of the Guide is based on the revised European Patent Convention (EPC 2000) which entered into force on 13 December 2007. All references to articles or rules in the Guide therefore relate to the EPC as in force since that date. The Guide cannot go into the details or specific issues of the European patent grant procedure, and it does not constitute an official commentary on the European Patent Convention (EPC).

If you need more detailed information, you are advised to consult the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, a comprehensive guide to every stage of the grant procedure and to EPO practice.

Available formats

The PDF file reflects the printed version of the 18th edition of "How to get a European patent, Guide for applicants (June 2018)" and is based on the information available on 1 April 2018.

While the HTML version is optimised for online use, the PDF version offers the best solution for off-line browsing, including full-text search functionality. The HTML version has been updated since the entry into force of the new Guidelines for examination at the European Patent Office as from 1 November 2018. What has changed in the HTML version since adoption of the version published in the 18th print edition and available in the PDF file can be displayed by checking the "show modification" box on the upper right-hand side.

A printed version of the Guide is also available (see the following section for how to order it).

The content of the Guide is also available as an e-learning module.


The printed version of "How to get a European patent, Guide for applicants (18th edition, June 2018)" can be ordered online. It is available in English, French and German.

Quick Navigation