4.1.022Instead of filing application documents, you may file a European patent application by making reference to a previously filed application. When filing your patent application by reference to a previously filed application, you should indicate in the request for grant form (section 26.1 of the paper form) the filing date, the file number and the state or office where the previous application was filed. The reference must indicate that it replaces the description and any drawings. You will then have to file a certified copy of the previously filed application within two months of filing the application. If the previous application is not in English, French or German, you must file a translation thereof into one of those languages within the same time limit unless such a translation is already available to the EPO. If you do not file the certified copy within the said time limit or within a time limit set in a subsequent invitation, the application will not be dealt with as a European patent application. If you do not file a translation of the previously filed application within the said time limit or within a time limit set in an invitation, the application will be deemed to be withdrawn (but see points 4.1.007 and 5.10.008 ff).
Claims can also be filed by reference to those in the previously filed application. However, you may also decide to file a new set of claims replacing the set in the previously filed application.