Language regime 
Article 14(1) EPC provides that the official languages of the EPO are English, French and German, while Article 14(3) EPC defines the term "language of the proceedings". Both provisions are applicable pursuant to Rule 20(1) UPR. However, contrary to the normal EPC regime, where any of the three EPO official languages may be used in written proceedings (see Rule 3(1) EPC), requests for unitary effect have to be filed in the language of proceedings (see Article 9(1)(g) Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 and Rule 6(2) UPR; see also point 58 above). This exception is dealt with in Rule 20(2)(a) UPR, which states that, unless otherwise provided, Rule 3(1), first sentence, EPC (as well as Rule 3(3) EPC) applies mutatis mutandis.
This means that parties may use any official language of the EPO in written proceedings before the EPO, except when making the request for unitary effect itself, which has to be filed in the language of proceedings. It is therefore strongly recommended that you use either one of the online filing options provided by the EPO or EPO Form 7000 when requesting unitary effect to ensure that you are using the language of proceedings.  
The EPC provisions that allow documents having to be filed within a time limit to be filed initially in an admissible non-EPO language, provided that a translation is filed within a month (Article 14(4) EPC; Rule 3(1), second sentence, EPC; and Rule 6(2) EPC) do not apply, so you cannot, for instance, file a request for re-establishment of rights pursuant to Rule 22 UPR in an admissible non-EPO language and then file a translation within a month.

Quick Navigation