Registrations of transfers (assignments) of European patent applications or patents are recorded in the European Patent Register at the request of an interested party and on production of documents satisfying the EPO that the transfer has taken place. Any kind of suitable written evidence is admissible, for example a copy of or extract from an official document, or a declaration signed by both parties. We recommend that you use EPO Form F5055.
The document filed in support of the request must contain the following information:
- The name and address of the parties (assignor and assignee).
- The application number(s) of the application(s)/patent(s) concerned. Where the application concerned is a divisional application, the request must include the application number of the divisional application.
- If a contractual agreement is involved, it must be signed by both parties. Where a party is a legal person, the signature of a natural person entitled to represent the legal entity is required, together with their name and position within the legal entity which should be clearly printed.
Please note that the EPO does not accept electronic signatures on documents submitted as evidence in support of a request for registration of a transfer of rights.
Documents may be filed in any language. The EPO may, however, require a translation into one of its official languages.
There is no prescribed form for such requests. They must, however, be filed in writing with the EPO, quoting the application number(s) concerned. We recommend using EPO Form F5050. The request must be signed by an entitled person, i.e. the applicant /proprietor or their representative.
An administrative fee is payable per application/patent concerned (see Schedule of fees and expenses of the EPO, fee code 022).
You should also inform the EPO if the transfer of the application/patent affects the authorisation of the representative.
The transfer becomes effective before the EPO on the date on which the above-mentioned requirements are met. The newly registered applicant/proprietor is entitled to exercise the right to the European patent application/patent before the EPO as of this date.
- During the international phase for a PCT application, the recordal of transfers must be requested with the International Bureau of the World International Property Organisation (WIPO).
- Registration of the transfer of a European patent application can be requested at any time. The transfer will not, however, be entered in the European Patent Register before the publication of the European patent application (Article 127 EPC).
This also applies to the registration of transfers of European patents. It is important to note, however, that after grant, transfers can only be registered in the European Patent Register during the opposition period or during opposition proceedings (Rule 85 EPC). Transfers occurring during limitation proceedings will not be entered into the Register. The name of the new proprietor will, however, be mentioned as the person or entity requesting the limitation of the patent.
The Legal Division has sole responsibility for the registration of transfers pursuant to Rules 22 and 85 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).