What are the rules of publication and when are they available in the Register?

EP publications

EP applications are published as soon as possible after the expiry of a period of eighteen months from the date of filing or, where priority is claimed, from the earliest priority date. Upon request from the applicant, the application may, however, be published before that date, provided that the filing and search fees have been validly paid and there are no formal deficiencies in the application documents. Prior to publication the application is kept confidential. Reference is made to the Guidelines for Examination, Part A-VI, 1.

EP applications are published once a week, every Wednesday at 14.00 hrs CET.

PCT publications handled by the EPO (Euro-PCT)

Euro-PCT applications are published 31 months from the date of filing of the international application or (where applicable) the earliest priority date. In principle, the international publication of an international application (PCT application) takes the place of the publication of a European patent application (Euro-PCT) when it is received in one of the official EPO languages. For more details see Article 153(3) EPC.

Note: Publication of a PCT application is the responsibility of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). International applications are published by WIPO 18 months from the international filing date or the earliest priority date.


Divisional applications

In general, divisional applications are published as soon as possible after filing, but not prior to the publication of the parent application. A delay of up to five weeks may occur because of the technical preparations that need to be completed prior to publication.

General note on publication rules: The publication cycles described above are subject to exceptions that can delay publication.