A revised version of this publication entered into force.
5.2.004Once the date of filing has been accorded, the Receiving Section examines whether the filing fee, any additional fees and the search fee have been paid in due time (see points 4.3.011 and 4.3.012). If the filing fee or the search fee has not been paid in due time, the European patent application is deemed to be withdrawn (see point 4.3.014). However, see point 5.10.007 for the possibility of further processing.
– the content of the request for grant (see point 4.1.013)
If the Receiving Section finds any deficiencies, it invites you to remedy them in accordance with the Implementing Regulations; if you fail to do so, the legal consequences provided for in the EPC take effect, i.e. the application is deemed to be withdrawn or is refused.
5.2.006If the file number or the certified copy of the application whose priority is claimed is missing, you will be invited to file the missing item(s) within a specified time limit. If you fail to do so, you will lose your priority right (but see points 5.10.008-5.10.010).
5.2.007If formal examination reveals that parts of the description or drawings referred to in the description or in the claims appear to be missing, the Receiving Section will invite you under Rule 56(1) EPC to file the missing parts within a non-extendable time limit of two months.8 You can also file any missing parts of the description or drawings of your own motion within two months from the date of filing. In both cases the date of filing will then be re-dated to the day on which the missing parts are received at the EPO. Please be aware that a change of the date of filing may result in losing your priority right, namely if the newly accorded date of filing lies outside the 12-month priority period (see point 4.1.017).
The original date of filing will be kept if you declare and provide evidence within the applicable time limit that the late-filed missing parts of the description or drawings are completely contained in the earlier application whose priority is claimed. To this end, a certified copy of the priority application, unless already available to the EPO, and, if required, its translation into one of the EPO's official languages must be filed. You must furthermore specify where in the priority application the missing parts are contained.
The EPO will inform you of the date of filing accorded once the Receiving Section has taken a decision.
The examining division may review the decision of the Receiving Section.
8Following the decision of the Administrative Council of 14 December 2021 inserting a new Rule 56a and amending Rules 56 EPC and Rule 135 of the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention and amending Article 2 of the Rules relating to Fees (OJ EPO 2022, A3), a new procedure for filing missing or erroneously filed parts will apply as from 1 November 2022.