Persons entitled to file an application 

A European patent application may be filed by any natural or legal person, or anybody equivalent to a legal person by virtue of the law governing it.

For the purposes of proceedings before the EPO, the applicant shall be deemed to be entitled to exercise the right to the European patent.

The application may be in the name of one person or several persons may be named as joint applicants. The application may also be filed by two or more applicants designating different contracting states. It may arise that a first applicant designates one group of contracting states and a second designates a different group of contracting states, while both applicants jointly designate a third group of contracting states. If the applicants for a patent are not the same for different contracting states they will be regarded as joint applicants in proceedings before the EPO (see A‑III, 4.2.1 and 11.1 as to when and under what circumstances the matter dealt with in this paragraph need be considered during the formalities examination).

If it is adjudged that any person other than the applicant is entitled to the grant of a European patent that person has the option of prosecuting the application as their own application in place of the applicant (see A‑IV, 2).

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