Content of the publication 

The publication must contain the description, the claims and any drawings as filed, including any sequence listing filed on the date of filing, and including any late-filed missing parts of the description, or drawings filed according to Rule 56 (see A‑II, 5), provided that the latter were not subsequently withdrawn (see A‑II, 5.5), and specify, where possible, the person(s) designated as the inventor(s). If the claims were filed after the date of filing according to the procedures explained in A‑III, 15, this will be indicated when the application is published (Rule 68(4)).

The publication also indicates as designated contracting states all states party to the EPC on the date the application was filed, unless individual states have been withdrawn by the applicant before the termination of the technical preparations for publication. When a European application filed before 1 April 2009 is published, the states for which protection is actually sought may not yet be known, because the time limit under Rule 39(1) for paying the designation fees is still running. Those definitively designated – through actual payment of designation fees – are announced later in the Register of European Patents and the European Patent Bulletin (see Information from the EPO, OJ EPO 1997, 479). For European divisional applications, see A‑IV, 1.3.4.

The publication also contains any new or amended claims filed by the applicant under Rule 137(2), together with the European search report and the abstract determined by the search division if the latter are available before termination of the technical preparations for publication. Otherwise the abstract filed by the applicant is published. The search opinion is not published with the European search report (Rule 62(2)). It is however open to file inspection (see A‑XI, 2.1). If the EPO has received a communication from the applicant under Rule 32(1) ("expert solution"), this too must be mentioned (see the Notice from the EPO dated 7 July 2010, OJ EPO 2010, 498). Further data may be included at the discretion of the President of the EPO.

With the exception of documents which have to be translated, originals of documents filed are used for publication purposes where these documents meet the physical requirements referred to in A‑VIII, 2; otherwise, the amended or replacement documents meeting these requirements are used. Application documents that are of such bad quality that any improvement would result in an extension of the subject-matter as originally filed are published as filed. Prohibited matter may be omitted from the documents before publication, the place and number of words or drawings omitted being indicated (see A‑III, 8.1 and A‑III, 8.2). Documents incorporated in an electronic file are deemed to be originals (Rule 147(3)).

If a request for correction under Rule 139 of errors in the documents filed with the EPO is allowed, it must be incorporated in the publication. If upon termination of the technical preparations for publication a decision is still pending on a request for correction of items which third parties might expect to be able to take at face value, so that their rights would be jeopardised by correction, this must be mentioned on the front page of the publication (see the case law in A‑V, 3), as must a request for correction of errors in the description, claims or drawings (see A‑V, 3).

The correction of errors occurring in the process of publication of the European patent application can be requested at any time (see H‑VI, 3). Complete republication of the application will take place where appropriate.

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