Before the end of the international phase, applicants must decide whether and where they want to proceed with their international application in the national/regional phase before the designated/elected Offices. 
Applicants wishing to obtain a European patent must enter what is known as "the European phase", which means that they must fulfil the requirements (see points 5.2.001 ff) for initiating the processing of their application by the EPO as designated or elected Office in due time (see point 5.1.010).

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