Complaints can concern any of our products or services (see Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, E-VI, 4).  

If the complaint relates to file-specific substantive or procedural issues, we will usually first discuss it with the relevant internal stakeholders (e.g. managers of the department in charge of the application, or the examining or opposition division). We will then send you a detailed reply.   

As a rule, a copy of the complaint form and our reply will be included in the public part of the file. However, the principles governing exclusion from file inspection apply to the complaints procedure. This means, in particular, that parts which could be prejudicial to the legitimate personal or economic interests of a natural or legal person can be excluded from file inspection at your request or ex officio by us.  

Please note that the complaint handling procedure does not replace the procedures laid down by the European Patent Convention; nor does the department responsible for handling complaints  take decisions on substantive and procedural requests. 

In general, we send replies to complaints by email. But where complaints concern unpublished patent applications, we send our letter of reply by post. 

However, before making a complaint about any of our products or services, you may find it helpful to contact our User Services, where our staff would be pleased to help you try and find a solution to your problem.  

You can also get more information from the frequently asked questions.  

We also recommend that you read this warning about payment requests from firms purporting to register European patents. 


As for complaints, feedback can concern any of our products or services.  

You can use the feedback procedure to share with us any experience or satisfaction level with our products and services, including procedural matters. We will carefully consider your comments, and take them into account when reviewing and improving our products and services. 

Feedback will not be included in the public part of the file.