INFORMATION FROM THE EPO
Notice dated 13 March 1991 concerning the amendment of the title of the invention in European patent applications
1. Present procedure
The EPO checks the title of the invention when examining a European patent application pursuant to Article 91 EPC for compliance with the formal requirements. If the title does not accord with the provisions of Rule 26(2)(b) EPC the EPO proposes a new title which is communicated to the applicant. If the latter does not raise any objection to the proposed title within one month of notification he is assumed to have accepted it.
Although experience has shown that in some 95% of all cases the applicant accepts the proposed amendments, the time limit for a possible response still has to be allowed to expire, and this can delay publication of the European patent application.
2. New procedure
After consulting the Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO (SACEPO) the EPO has decided to simplify and streamline the procedure for amending the title of the invention as follows:
As from 1 August 1991 the procedure under the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, A-III, 7.3, in accordance with which the applicant is informed in advance by means of EPO Form 1113 that the EPO has amended the title, will be discontinued. If the title has to be changed, this will be done without informing the applicant there and then. This will bring the EPO's practice into line with the international procedure laid down in Rule 37.2 PCT.
The title, in the form in which it is to be published (together with its translations in the two other official languages), will however still be communicated to the applicant by means of the "Notification of European publication number and information on the application of Article 67(3) EPC" (EPO Form 1133). If the original title has been changed this will be expressly drawn to the applicant's attention.
If the applicant does not agree with the title as amended by the EPO he has the possibility of requesting a further amendment in the subsequent proceedings before the Examining Division.
The above-mentioned Guidelines will be amended accordingly in the next general revision.