Accelerated prosecution of applications - the "PACE" programme 
5.1.036
An effective request for early processing causes prosecution of the application by the EPO as designated/elected Office to be taken up before expiry of the 31-month time limit. However, a request for early processing does not lead to accelerated prosecution. Applicants who also want to request such accelerated prosecution of their application in the European phase must therefore submit a separate online request under the PACE programme upon entry into the European phase or later (EPO Form 1005). Depending on the time when the request is submitted and the indications made in the form, accelerated prosecution covers the establishment of the supplementary European search report, where such a report is to be drawn up (see points 5.9.001 ff), or substantive examination. A PACE request can be filed only once for each stage of the procedure. For Euro-PCT applications for which a supplementary European search is carried out, this means that a request for accelerated examination cannot be filed on entry into the European phase but only after receipt of the supplementary European search report, i.e. after applicants have declared that they wish to proceed further to examination (Rules 70(2) and 70a(2) EPC; see points 5.9.012-5.9.013).

Quick Navigation