5.10 General provisions governing periods
A revised version of this publication entered into force.
A period is calculated from the day after the date on which the relevant event occurred. In the case of a notification, the event considered is the receipt of the document notified, subject to the provisions governing notification. The generally applicable procedure for notifications is indicated below. Period expiry is regulated in Rule 131(3) to Rule 131(5). Under Rule 134(1) a period expiring on a day on which the EPO is closed or on which mail is not delivered is extended to the next day on which it is open and on which mail is delivered (for example, if a period expires on a Saturday or Sunday, the next day on which it is open is Monday). The provisions in Rule 134(2) and (5) also permit extension of a period in certain special cases.
A period will be deemed to have been observed if a document received late was posted, or delivered to a delivery service recognised by the President of the EPO (Chronopost, DHL, Federal Express, flexpress, TNT, SkyNet, UPS or Transworld), at least five calendar days before the relevant period expired, unless the document was received later than three months after the period expired.
If an extension of a time limit is requested in applications which, at the request of the applicant, are being processed under the programme for accelerated prosecution of European patent applications (PACE), the application(s) will be removed from the PACE programme.
GL E‑VIII, 4
In opposition proceedings, requests to extend time limits over and above the normal period of four months for communications from an opposition division raising matters of substance or two months for other communications will be granted only in exceptional, duly substantiated cases.
If you have agreed to receive communications electronically, notification may be effected by means of electronic communication. The electronic document is deemed to be delivered to the addressee on the tenth day following its transmission, unless it fails to reach the addressee or reaches them at a later date.