Learning path for formalities officers and paralegals



The series "Learning path for formalities officers and paralegals" is edited and published by the European Patent Academy. The series is intended for formalities officers and paralegals who are taking part in training and certifications organised by the European Patent Office (EPO). It is also freely available to the public for independent learning.

Topics covered include: general aspects of the patent system; the European patent system and the European patent granting procedure; the International Patent System (PCT) and the PCT procedure; European and international publications; filing a European patent application and filing an international application; the formalities during the European and during the international search; the formalities during the European examination and during the international preliminary examination; the formalities during the appeal procedure after refusal (EPC), during the opposition procedure (EPC); national validation (EPC); entry into national/regional phases and entry into the European phase (PCT).

Each chapter focuses on one topic at entry, intermediate or advanced level, as appropriate.

The series will be revised annually to ensure it remains up to date.


This publication is for training and information purposes only. Although it has been prepared with great care, it cannot be guaranteed that the information it contains is accurate and up to date; nor is it meant to be a comprehensive study or a source of legal advice. The EPO is not liable for any losses, damages, costs, third-party liabilities or expenses arising from any error in data or other information provided in this publication.

The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the EPO.

This publication may be used and reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the EPO and the contributors are appropriately acknowledged. Reproduction for commercial purposes is not permitted.

All references to natural persons are to be understood as applying to all genders.


Understanding patents
Available level      
General aspects of the patent system Entry - -
The European patent system Entry - -
The European patent granting procedure Entry - -
The PCT system Entry - -
The PCT procedure Entry - -
EPO procedures from filing to search results
Available level      
Filing a European patent application Entry Intermediate -
European search Entry - -
European publications Entry - -

EPO procedures from entry into examination to validation

Available level      
European examination Entry Intermediate -
Appeal procedure after refusal - Intermediate -
Opposition procedure - Intermediate -
Appeal procedure after opposition - Intermediate -
National validation Entry - -
Unitary Patent Procedure (UPP) and Unified Patent 
Court (UPC)
- Intermediate  
PCT procedures
Available level      
Filing an international application Entry Intermediate -
International search Entry - -
International publication Entry - -
International preliminary examination Entry - -
Entry into the national / regional phase after PCT
Available level      
Entering national/regional phases Entry - -
Entry into the European phase Entry - -

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