Our user service charter

User services built around you

We have set up a User Services helpdesk and Customer Relationship Management System to handle your queries on the following:

  • General enquiries regarding the EPO
  • The patent grant procedure under the EPC/PCT
  • Legal and procedural enquiries
  • Questions about communications and notices sent by the EPO
  • Online services (Online filing, Central Fee Payment, Mailbox)
  • Patent searches (Espacenet, European Patent Register)

    Expect a commitment to quality

    Excellence is a vital component of the services we offer which is why we strive to ensure that:

    • 90% of all enquiries addressed to our User Services helpdesk are resolved within 16 business hours of receipt
    • Your enquiry is always directed to the most appropriate expert
    • Communication is possible in any official language - English, French or German
    • You enjoy courteous, respectful and professional treatment at all times
    • Your feedback on how we can improve any aspect of our customer service is welcome
    • Your queries are always handled with the utmost confidentiality
    • There is on-going investment and improvement across all our communication channels

    Choose from convenient contact options

    There are a number of different ways to contact our User Services, all of which are summarised on the contact page of our website: 

    Reach us via contact forms:

    Our contact form is available 24/7 at  In the unlikely event that you encounter a problem with the form, your enquiry can also be sent to:

    Contact us by phone:

    You will be reassured to learn that we strive to answer 95% of all calls within 10 seconds.  Contact us on our freephone number between 08:00 to 18:00 CET, Monday to Friday.

    Freephone number

    00800 80 20 20 20

    Our free service is currently available from: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

    The freephone number for Türkiye is 00 800 491 80 20 20 20

    If the freephone number is not available from your country, our customer services can also be contacted on:


    +49 (0)89 2399-4500

    The Hague: 

    +31 (0)70 340-4500


    +49 (0)30 25901-4500


    +43 (0)1 52126-4500

    Good is not good enough

    We review our User Services every month to see how and where we can perform better.  To ensure total transparency in this regard, we publish our key performance measurements on our website every year. 

    Give us your feedback

    We value all feedback that could help us improve our communication or services. We invite you to share any input you may have by using the feedback form.

    Less than satisfied?

    If any of our services fall short of your expectations please let us know on the form provided at

    Not making progress?

    The Ombuds Office will help you to get things back on track if you have been unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction by going through the formal channels. Email us at

    How can you help us?

    Put our website to good use

    Get the information you need at It's updated daily and offers extensive background information on the European patent system, our products and services, as well as legal texts.  Our FAQs cover all our customers' main areas of concern and they are constantly improved, based on user feedback. We encourage you to visit the following:

    Make our systems work for you

    In order to ensure that you receive a competent and timely response (and to monitor our service levels) we have set up Customer Relationship Management and a ticketing system. 

    When submitting an enquiry you will automatically be asked to provide the necessary details required for ticketing. It only takes you a few minutes and this makes it possible for us to reliably track your request.

    Whether contacting us via form or by phone, please describe your enquiry as precisely as possible so we can clearly identify the issue and address it to the most competent expert. 

    Ensure legal validity of procedural requests

    If you have a procedural request (e.g. filing of documents, payment instructions, and requests for time limit extensions), please note that it should be filed online, sent by post or faxed as contact forms and e-mails have no legal validity in proceedings under either the EPC or PCT. Read more at

    Connect directly for non-patent related queries

    If you need to be connected directly to a specific department for any non-patent related enquiry, then contact our switchboards directly: 

    Munich:      +49 (0)89 2399-0

    The Hague: +31 (0)70 340-2040

    Berlin:        +49 (0)30 25901-0

    Vienna:       +43 (0)1 52126-0

    We commit to strive to answer 95% of all calls to our switchboards within 10 seconds. 

    Participate in our surveys

    With the support of independent research institutes, we run regular surveys to monitor customer satisfaction. We would very much appreciate your participation so we can discover how best to improve our services to you.