Can I delete an inventor from, or add a further inventor to, a European patent application that has already been filed?

European patent applications have to designate the inventor. If the applicant is not the inventor or is not the sole inventor, the designation must contain a statement indicating the origin of the right to the European patent. Unless they waive this right before completion of the preparations for the publication of the European patent application, the inventor will be mentioned in the published European patent application, the European patent specification, the European Patent Register and the European Patent Bulletin.

Incorrect designations may be rectified provided that a request to this effect is received, accompanied by the consent of the wrongly designated person and the consent of the applicant for or proprietor of the patent where the request is not filed by that party. If an additional inventor is designated, the consent of the inventor(s) previously designated is not necessary. You can request rectification after the proceedings before the EPO are terminated.

Where an incorrect designation has been rectified after publication, the rectification or cancellation will also be published in the European Patent Register or European Patent Bulletin. The national patent offices will be informed accordingly. However, a new patent certificate/specification will not be issued by the EPO since the inventor was not known at the date of grant.

Note: Requests to register a change of country and place of residence of the inventor can be made in writing at any time. You do not have to pay a fee or use a special form.

The Legal Division has sole responsibility for rectifying the designation of an inventor pursuant to Rule 21 EPC once an adverse decision seems likely (see Decision of the President of the EPO dated 21 November 2013 concerning the responsibilities of the Legal Division, OJ EPO 2013, 600).

For further information see: