List of sections amended in 2021 revision

MAJOR AMENDMENTS

PART A

A‑III, 6.7

Amended to include list of patent offices currently issuing electronic priority documents with digital signature accepted by the EPO (status 07.12.2020)

Amended to reflect updated practice in respect of priority documents exchanged with JPO

A‑III, 13.2

Amended in view of new Rule 20.5bis PCT

A‑IV, 4.4

New subsection detailing EPO practice in relation to requests for biological material samples

A‑VIII, 1; A‑VIII, 1.1; A‑VIII, 1.2; A‑VIII, 1.3; A‑VIII, 1.4; A‑VIII, 1.5; A‑VIII, 1.6

Brought into line with current EPO practice on representation

A‑VIII, 2.5

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A71

A‑X, 5.2.7

New subsection detailing EPO practice in relation to the fees payable for procedural and other requests

PART C

C‑III, 1.3

Amended in view of new Rule 20.5bis PCT

C‑III, 2.3

Amended in view of new Rule 20.5bis PCT

Amended to clarify use of Rule 137(5) when sending invitation under Rule 164(2)

Amended to clarify practice when search fee is paid under Rule 164(2) and at the same time new claims are filed

C‑V, 2;
C‑V, 4; C‑V, 4.1; C‑V, 4.6; C‑V, 4.7; C‑V, 4.8.1; C‑V, 4.10;

C‑V, 6.2;

C‑VI, 3

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A73

Subsection C‑V, 4.11 deleted

C‑V, 15.1

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A124

C‑VII, 2; C‑VII, 2.1; C‑VII, 2.2; C‑VII, 2.3; C‑VII, 2.4; C‑VII, 2.5

Amended in view of possibility of holding informal consultations by videoconference

C‑VII, 3; C‑VII, 3.1; C‑VII, 3.2; C‑VII, 3.3

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A71

C‑VII, 5

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A134

PART D

D‑VI, 3.2

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A41

D‑VI, 8

New subsection detailing EPO practice in relation to requests to adjourn opposition proceedings

PART E

E‑III, 1;
E‑III, 6; E‑III, 8.2; E‑III, 8.2.2; E‑III, 8.2.2.1; E‑III, 8.2.2.2; E‑III, 8.3.1; E‑III, 8.3.3.1; E‑III, 8.5.1.2; E‑III, 8.5.2; E‑III, 8.7.2; E‑III, 10.1; E‑III, 11; E‑III, 11.1; E‑III, 11.1.1; E‑III, 11.1.2; E‑III, 11.2; E‑III, 11.3; E‑III, 11.4; E‑IV, 1.11.2

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A134; OJ EPO 2020, A71; and OJ EPO 2020, A122

 

E‑III, 2.2

New section detailing new EPO practice in relation to requests for oral proceedings in examination to be held on EPO premises

E‑III, 7.2.2

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A124

E‑IV, 1.3; E‑IV, 1.4; E‑IV, 1.5; E‑IV, 1.6.1; E‑IV, 1.10.1

Amended in view of amended Rule 117 and Rule 118, as well as OJ EPO 2020, A135

E‑VII, 1.4

Amended in view of amended Rule 142, which entered into force on 01.07.2020

E‑VIII, 1.6.2; E‑VIII, 1.6.2.1; E‑VIII, 1.6.2.2; E‑VIII, 1.6.2.3

New subsections detailing EPO practice in relation to the application of Rule 134

E‑VIII, 4.3

Amended to add INDECOPI (Peru) to the list of the EPO's PPH partner offices

E‑IX, 2.1.3; E‑IX, 2.2; E‑IX, 2.5.1; E‑IX, 2.8; E‑IX, 2.9.3;

E‑IX, 2.9.4

Amended in view of new Rule 20.5bis PCT

E‑XII, 7.4.4

New subsection detailing EPO practice in relation to interlocutory revision if the application is pending before the Receiving Section

PART F

F‑IV, 4.5.2

Amended to include detailed requirements regarding essential features for claims towards plants or animals

F‑IV, 4.12

Amended in view of decision G 3/19 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal

F‑IV, 4.24

New subsection detailing EPO practice with respect to the interpretation of terms such as identity and similarity in relation to amino or nucleic acid sequences

F‑V, 2; F‑V, 2.2; F‑V, 3; F‑V, 3.1; F‑V, 3.2; F‑V, 3.2.1; F‑V, 3.2.2; F‑V, 3.2.3; F‑V, 3.2.4; F‑V, 3.2.5; F‑V, 3.2.6; F‑V, 3.2.7; F‑V, 3.3; F‑V, 3.3.1

Subsections updated to align with the practice of using a "minimum reasoning" when raising a non-unity objection

PART G

G‑II, 3.6.4

New section detailing EPO practice in relation to examination of database management systems and information retrieval

G‑II, 5.2; G‑II, 5.4; G‑II, 5.4.1; G‑II, 5.4.2.1; G‑II, 5.5.1

Amended in view of decision G 3/19 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal

G‑II, 5.3

Amended in view of decision G 3/19 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal

Amended to detail EPO practice in relation to pluripotent stem cells

G‑II, 5.6; G‑II, 5.6.1; G‑II, 5.6.1.1; G‑II, 5.6.1.2; G‑II, 5.6.1.3; G‑II, 5.6.1.4; G‑II, 5.6.1.5; G‑II, 5.6.1.6; G‑II, 5.6.1.7; G‑II, 5.6.2

New subsections detailing EPO practice in relation to antibodies

PART H

H‑II, 2.5.2;
H‑II, 2.5.3

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A73

 

 

MINOR AMENDMENTS

General Part

General Part 2.1

Revised statement on use of gender-neutral language in the Guidelines

PART A

A‑II, 3.1

Clarified practice in relation to the exceptional issue of a confirmation of receipt by fax

A‑III, 3.2

Amended to clarify the formal requirements that an appendix to the description must fulfil

A‑III, 16.2

Clarified practice in relation to extension of period under Rule 58

A‑IV, 1.1; A‑IV, 1.1.1; A‑IV, 1.1.3;

A‑IV, 1.2;

A‑IV, 1.3.1

Clarified practice in relation to divisional applications

A‑IV, 2.2.4

Clarified practice in relation to renewal fees during stay of proceedings

A‑IV, 4.1; A‑IV, 4.2;
A‑XI, 1

Clarified practice in relation to deposit of biological material

A‑IV, 4.3

Clarified practice in relation to an expert's nomination

A‑IV, 5

Clarified practice in relation to late filing of sequence listings

A‑IX, 7.1; A‑XI, 5.2

Clarified practice in in relation to colour drawings

A‑X, 4.2.3

Clarified practice in relation to payment from deposit account

Clarified practice in relation to correction of a debit order by the EPO of its own motion

A‑X, 4.4

Amended to include updated list of credit cards accepted by the EPO

A‑X, 6.2; A‑X, 6.2.1; A‑X, 6.2.2; A‑X, 6.2.4; A‑X, 6.2.5

Amended in view of amended Art. 7(3) RFees and Art. 7(4) RFees, which entered into force on 01.04.2020

A‑X, 7.1.1

Amended to clarify the conditions under which a payments is considered valid

A‑X, 10.1; A‑X, 10.1.1; A‑X, 10.1.3; A‑X, 10.2.1; A‑X, 10.3.1

Clarified practice in relation to the refund of fees

A‑XI, 2.3

Clarified practice in relation to restrictions to file inspection

PART B

B‑II, 4.3.2

Clarified practice in relation to supplementary European search reports

B‑VIII, 3

Clarified practice when no meaningful search is possible

B‑X, 9.2.5

Clarified practice in relation to "T" documents

B‑X, 9.4

Clarified practice in relation to identification of relevant passages in prior-art documents when the search division relies on a translation

B‑X, 11.4

Clarified practice in relation to the citation of reviews or books

B‑XI, 3.7; B‑XI, 3.8

Amended to clarify the search division's approach in relation to adaptation of the description to the claims

PART C

C‑II, 3.1;
C‑II, 3.2;
C‑III, 2;
C‑VI, 1.1

Clarified practice in relation to adaptation of the description to the claims

C‑IV, 3

Clarified practice in relation to replies within the meaning of Art. 94(4)

C‑V, 15.2

Clarified practice in relation to decisions by means of a standard form

PART D

D‑IV, 1.2.2.1

Clarified practice under Rule 77(1) when the notice of opposition is not adequately substantiated

D‑VII, 6

Clarified practice in relation to intervention of assumed infringer

PART E

E‑II, 2.4

Amended to clarify which notifications are sent electronically

E‑III, 3

Clarified practice in relation to requests for further oral proceedings

E‑III, 7;
E‑III, 7.1; E‑III, 7.1.1; E‑III, 7.1.2; E‑III, 7.1.3

Amended to bring English version of the Guidelines into line with the French and German ones

E‑III, 8.2.1

Clarified practice in relation to use of laptops during oral proceedings on EPO premises

E‑III, 8.5.1

Clarified practice in relation to use of computer-generated slideshows during oral proceedings on EPO premises

E‑VII, 3

Clarified practice in relation to stays of proceedings

E‑VIII, 1.4; E‑VIII, 1.6.1

Amended in view of new subsections E‑VIII, 1.6.2

E‑VIII, 1.7

Clarified practice in relation to late receipt of documents

E‑VIII, 2

Clarified practice in relation to further processing

E‑VIII, 4.2

Amended to clarify relationship between a request for accelerated examination and Rule 161

E‑IX, 2.3.1

Clarified practice in relation to representation on entry into regional phase

E‑X, 2.4

Amended in view of OJ EPO 2020, A133

E‑XII, 7.1

Clarified practice in relation to interlocutory revision in opposition proceedings

PART F

F‑II, 4.2;
F‑IV, 4.3

Clarified practice in relation to adaptation of the description to the claims

F‑II, Annex 2

Amended to update definitions of several units

F‑IV, 3.1

Clarified practice in relation to application of Rule 43(2)

F‑IV, 3.9.2

Clarified practice in relation to claims directed to computer-implemented inventions where method steps define additional devices and/or specific data processing means

F‑IV, 4.4

Clarified practice in relation to claim-like clauses

F‑IV, 4.12.1

Clarified practice in relation to product claims with process features

F‑IV, 4.13.2

Clarified practice in relation to the interpretation of means plus function features

F‑IV, 4.13.3

Clarified practice in relation to the interpretation of expressions such as "Method for ..."

F‑IV, 4.18

Clarified practice in relation to the use of brackets in claims

PART G

G‑II, 3.3

Clarification in relation to clarity of terms in mathematical methods

G‑II, 3.3.1

Amended to clarify where further examples about artificial intelligence and machine learning can be found in the Guidelines

G‑II, 3.6.3

Clarified practice in relation to data retrievals, formats and structures

G‑II, 3.7.1

Clarified practice in relation to user interfaces

G‑II, 4.2.1.1

Amended to include positive example of a routine intervention not falling under the exception of Art. 53(c)

G‑II, 4.2.1.2

Amended to include positive example of a method to provide relief not falling under the exception of Art. 53(c)

Clarified practice in relation to the use of disclaimers to remove non-patentable subject-matter

G‑VI, 7.1.1

Clarification on when a material is considered a composition/substance when claiming a further medical use

G‑VI, 8

Clarified practice in relation to assessment of novelty in the case of a "selection invention"

G‑VII, 5.1

Clarified practice in relation to interpretation of the closest prior art

G‑VII, 5.2

Clarified practice in relation to criteria for determining whether a feature contributes to the technical effect of the invention

PART H

H‑II, 2.3.1.1

Clarified example regarding application of Rule 137(3) in conjunction with Art. 83

H‑III, 3.3.1

Clarification regarding application of Rule 137(4) to requests filed in preparation for oral proceedings

H‑V, 2.7

New section clarifying practice in regard to bringing the description into line with amended claims

H‑V, 3

Clarification regarding effect of amendments on claims as a whole when assessing compliance with Art. 123(2)

H‑V, 3.3

Clarification regarding effect of number of amendments to the claims on assessment of compliance with Art. 123(2)

H‑VI, 3.2

Clarification of practice in relation to allowability of the correction of bibliographic data

H‑VI, 4

Amended to include two examples regarding correction of formatting/editing errors

 

EDITORIAL CHANGES

 

Throughout the Guidelines, where possible gender-neutral language has been used.

General Part

General Part 2.1; General Part 2.2; General Part 3; General Part 5

PART A

A‑I, 2; A‑II, 1; A‑II, 1.1; A‑II, 1.2.2; A‑II, 1.5; A‑II, 5.4.3; A‑III, 11.3; A‑III, 11.3.1; A‑III, 11.3.2; A‑III, 11.3.4; A‑III, 11.3.7; A‑III, 11.3.8; A‑III, 11.3.9; A‑III, 13.1; A‑III, 15; A‑IV, 1.4.1; A‑IV, 1.4.3; A‑VIII, 1.7;A‑VIII, 1.8; A‑VIII, 3.3; A‑IX, 1.2; A‑X, 1; A‑X, 4.1; A‑X, 4.2.1; A‑X, 4.2.2; A‑X, 4.3; A‑X, 7.1.2; A‑X, 9.3.1; A‑X, 10.3

PART B

B‑II, 1.1; B‑II, 4.3.1; B‑III, 3.2.4; B‑IV, 1.2; B‑IV, 1.3; B‑VI, 5.5; B‑VIII, 3.3; B‑XI, 8

PART C

C‑V, 1.1; C‑V, 1.5; C‑VII, 4; C‑VII, 4.1; C‑VII, 4.2; C‑VII, 4.3; C‑VII, 6

PART D

D‑IV, 1.4.1; D‑VI, 7.2.1; D‑X, 10.1

PART E

E‑III, 8.7.1; E‑III, 10.4; E‑IV, 1.1; E‑IX, 2.10; E‑X, 2.6; E‑XII, 8

PART F

F‑II, 4.3; F‑II, 4.5; F‑II, 4.13; F‑III, 2; F‑IV, 3.7; F‑IV, 3.9; F‑V, 1; F‑V, 2.1; F‑V, 3.4; F‑V, 4; F‑V, 4.1; F‑V, 4.2; F‑V, 5; F‑V, 5.1; F‑V, 5.2; F‑V, 6; F‑V, 7; F‑V, 7.1; F‑V, 7.2; F‑V, 7.3; F‑V, 7.4; F‑VI, 3.5

PART G

G‑II, 3.4; G‑VII, 2

PART H

H‑II, 2.3; H‑II, 2.4; H‑II, 2.5.3; H‑II, 2.6; H‑II, 2.7; H‑II, 2.7.1; H‑II, 3.2; H‑II, 7.2; H‑II, 7.3; H‑III, 2.2; H‑III, 2.3; H‑III, 2.4; H‑III, 3.3.2.1; H‑III, 3.3.2.2; H‑III, 3.3.4; H‑III, 4.1; H‑III, 4.4; H‑IV, 2.2; H‑IV, 2.2.4; H‑IV, 2.2.8; H‑IV, 2.4; H‑IV, 4.2; H‑IV, 4.4; H‑IV, 4.4.1; H‑IV, 4.4.2; H‑V, 2.2; H‑V, 3.1; H‑V, 3.2; H‑V, 3.5; H‑V, 4.1; H‑V, 5; H‑V, 6; H‑V, 7; H‑VI, 2.1; H‑VI, 2.2

 

 

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