​​Your opinion matters – Guidelines 2024 pre-published today​

​​Two examiners looking at the Guidelines webpage​

​​The Guidelines 2024, pre-published today, enter into force on 1 March. Users are invited to comment on them by 2 April and are encouraged to take a small survey on the annual revision process included in the consultation.​

​​Today the EPO publishes the English preview versions of the EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines 2024. These Guidelines will enter into force on 1 March 2024. As every year, users also have the opportunity to provide feedback on these new editions in our consultation. You can submit your comments until 2 April 2024.

​Your opinion matters, so we have expanded this year’s user consultation with a small survey on the EPO’s Guidelines revision process itself. Furthermore, the EPO intends to publish guidelines on the Unitary Patent procedure in 2025. For shaping their content in the most useful way, we would be interested in knowing what you would consider most important for the future Unitary Patent Guidelines. We encourage you to take the extra minute – your feedback will help us to develop the  Unitary Patent Guidelines.

​The Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office ("EPC Guidelines") and the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the European Patent Office as PCT Authority ("PCT-EPO Guidelines") give instructions on the practices and procedures to be followed in the examination of European and international applications and patents in accordance with the European Patent Convention (EPC), the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and their Implementing Regulations.

​The Guidelines are a vital resource for illustrating the law and practice in proceedings before the EPO and are widely consulted by external parties. They are revised annually to keep them aligned with the latest legal and procedural developments.​ 

​The anonymised comments will be discussed with the members of the SACEPO Working Party on Guidelines in the first of their two annual meetings on 25 April 2024. 

​We value your input and look forward to receiving your feedback.