Are there any restrictions on using OPS?

The EPO operates a fair use policy to ensure reasonable access for all users. OPS is not designed to deliver large amounts of data. If you require entire collections or databases, you should instead consider buying the EPO's raw data products. For more information on these products, contact us at

For more information see our fair use charter.

Please note the following:

As a free service, OPS has its limitations. It can be quite busy and slow during working hours (between 07.00 and 19.00 hrs CET).

As explained in the fair use charter, there is a threshold of one request per second for family‑related actions, but the less intensive bibliographic service is faster. As a rule, all OPS services tolerate ten searches per minute per IP address, but this threshold may be higher or lower depending on operational circumstances.

Automatic (robot) access is welcomed on OPS, but within certain limits so it does not overwhelm the system. The maximum volume of traffic allowed for bulk download by robots is 1 Mbit/second. Again, this limit may vary depending on operational circumstances.

If you require complete databases or very large sets of records, please contact us at We can provide them at low cost by other means.