External complaints may concern any service or product delivered by the EPO, including all PCT products, and may be submitted by any person, including applicants. They may be submitted using the online form available at www.epo.org/complaint.
Complaints are forwarded to a dedicated EPO unit responsible for ensuring that any complaint is dealt with fairly and efficiently and that suitable action is taken to address it. A comprehensive reply to the complaint will be provided.
The complaint handling procedure does not replace the procedures laid down in the PCT; nor does the unit responsible for handling complaints take decisions on procedural requests. The department competent for the proceedings concerned decides on:
(a) complaints relating to procedural and/or substantive aspects of specific pending proceedings which are submitted by a party to those proceedings. All parties to the proceedings will be informed accordingly;
(b) complaints relating to substantive issues which are submitted by a third party while proceedings are pending before the EPO. Such a submission will be treated as a third-party observation (see point 374).