However, during substantive examination (see point 5.4.019
) or opposition proceedings (see point 5.5.005
) you may, on your own initiative, submit separate claims for each designated contracting state in which an earlier national right exists, provided that you supply evidence of its existence to the examining or opposition division as appropriate. In such cases the examining or opposition division examines only the admissibility of the separate claims; it does not have to judge whether you have adequately limited the scope of your application in relation to the earlier national right. What it does examine, however, is whether the invention identified in the separate claims meets the patentability requirements of the EPC.