EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Notice from the European Patent Office dated 12 December 2022 concerning the updating of the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the European Patent Office as PCT Authority (PCT-EPO Guidelines)
By decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 December 2022 and pursuant to Article 10(2) EPC, the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the European Patent Office as PCT Authority (PCT-EPO Guidelines) have been amended in line with the EPO's policy to provide an annual update. The amended PCT-EPO Guidelines, which will enter into force on 1 March 2023, will be published as a complete March 2023 edition that will supersede the March 2022 edition.
Like the previous editions, this March 2023 edition of the PCT-EPO Guidelines will be published only in electronic form and will be available in all three official languages on the EPO website at epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/guidelines-pct.html, where it can be downloaded free of charge.
The PCT-EPO Guidelines will be available in PDF format – as a clean copy and a version showing all modifications – and in HTML format. Within each section of the HTML version, the latest amendments can be viewed by ticking the Show modifications box in the top right-hand corner. A full list of the sections which have been amended, together with corresponding hyperlinks, will also be available.
As a courtesy service, a preview of the English version will be made available on the EPO website at the beginning of February for advance information.
Amendments have been made to all parts of the PCT-EPO Guidelines. The major change is the expansion of Part A, which now includes a new Chapter VIII on representation containing information applicable to all procedures. Other amendments aim at further improving the text of the previous edition or at updating it.
Once the preview version of the 2023 edition is published in February 2023, an online user consultation on the newly published Guidelines will be launched. Detailed information about the online user consultation, which will run until 4 April 2023, will be published on the EPO website (epo.org) at the beginning of February 2023.