Until completion of the technical preparations for publication of the European patent application, the applicant may inform the European Patent Office that,
until the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent or, where applicable,
for twenty years from the date of filing, if the application is refused or withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn,
the availability referred to in Rule 33
shall be effected only by the issue of a sample to an independent expert nominated by the requester.
Any natural person may be nominated as an expert, provided that he complies with the requirements and obligations laid down by the President of the European Patent Office.
The nomination shall be accompanied by a declaration from the expert that he undertakes to comply with the aforementioned requirements and obligations and that he knows of no circumstances which might give rise to justified doubts as to his independence or which might conflict in any other way with his function as expert.
The nomination shall also be accompanied by a declaration from the expert vis-à-vis the applicant in which he enters into the undertaking given under Rule 33
until either the date on which the patent expires in all the designated States or, where the application is refused, withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn, the date referred to in paragraph 1(b)
, the requester being regarded as a third party.