The application is 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 (see A‑III, 1.1 and 16). If the application is in order for grant before expiry of the eighteen-month period, see C‑IV, 7.1, and C‑VI, 3.
If the applicant abandons his the priority date, then the publication is deferred provided that the notification of the abandonment is received by the EPO before the termination of the technical preparations for publication. These preparations are considered terminated at the end of the day five weeks before the end of the eighteenth month from the date of priority, if priority is claimed, or from the date of filing, if the priority is abandoned or if no priority is claimed (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, D.1). The applicant is informed about the termination of the technical preparation for publication, and also of the publication number and intended publication date. Where the notification of abandonment of the priority is received after that time, publication, if it has not already taken place, takes place as if the priority date applied, although a notice as to the abandonment of the priority will appear in the European Patent Bulletin (see F‑VI, 3.5). The same procedure is followed when the priority right is lost under Art. 90(5) (see A‑III, 6.10).