Legal texts

The official source of up-to-date legal texts from the European Patent Office (EPO).

European Patent Convention (EPC)

The European Patent Convention provides an autonomous legal system for the granting of European patents via a single, harmonised procedure before the EPO.

Guidelines for Examination in the EPO

Covering the main aspects of the patent grant procedure: formalities, search, substantive examination, opposition and general procedural matters.

Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT Authority

The Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT authority give instructions on the practice and procedure to be followed in various aspects of the handling of international applications before the EPO as International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority.

Annual revision cycle for EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines

The Guidelines are revised annually, starting with a user consultation in February each year.

Extension/validation system

Applicants for a European patent have a simple and cost-effective way of obtaining patent protection in third countries on the basis of the extension and validation systems.

Official Journal

The Official Journal contains decisions of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, decisions of the President of the EPO and detailed further information relevant to the EPC and its implementation.

National law relating to the EPC

A concise and reliable guide to the most important provisions and requirements of EPO contracting and extension states' national law as applicable to European patent applications and patents.

National measures relating to the Unitary Patent

This booklet provides a concise overview of the most important national measures accompanying the implementation of the Unitary Patent in the participating Member States having ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.

London Agreement

The London Agreement (Article 65 EPC) is aimed at reducing translation costs for European patents.

Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

The most important decisions of the Boards of Appeal are summarised in the "Case Law of the Boards of Appeal".

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To search within full-text HTML versions of EPO legal texts, use our advanced website search. You can limit your search to one or more of these texts.

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