4.
Correction of formatting/editing errors 

Exceptionally, and in consideration of all relevant circumstances of the case, formattingFormatting/editing errors which were already contained in the text approved by the applicant may be corrected by the EPO of its own motion or at the request of the patent proprietor. Formatting/editing errors are alterations in the patent documents which occur during the preparation of the Druckexemplar and which are indicated neither by standard marks nor in Form 2004.

Example 1

In the Druckexemplar, page 10 contains two changes:

the first change is indicated with standard marks;
the second change is in a different paragraph on page 10 to the first change, and consists in the absence of the two top lines, but the deletion is not indicated by any standard mark (i.e. the two lines have just disappeared).

After publication of the grant, the applicant spots the errors and requests:

(a)
the correction of a spelling error in the first change introduced by the examining division;
(b)
the re-insertion of the top two lines that have disappeared.

Request (a) cannot be accepted, as the error is in the marked change. However, request (b) regarding the second change is a formatting/editing error. Thus, the request to reinstate the two top lines can be granted.

Example 2

EPO Form 2004 indicates inter alia page 10 as amended by the examining division; other pages of the description have been amended.

In the Druckexemplar, page 10 as originally filed is present; no amendments are present.

In this case, no correction can be made after issuance of the decision to grant as the error does not qualify as a formatting/editing error.

If any correction in the text of the specification as published is allowed, a corrected version of it will be published. However, such a correction has no influence on the start of the opposition period.

In any other case of discrepancy between the Druckexemplar and Form 2004, the patent proprietor has to file an appeal to seek remedy.

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