Notice from the European Patent Office dated 28 July 2015 concerning updating of the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office
By decision of the President of the EPO dated 28 July 2015, the Guidelines for Examination have been amended pursuant to Article 10(2) EPC in accordance with the policy of revising the Guidelines annually. The new Guidelines will enter into force on 1 November 2015 and be published as a complete "November 2015" edition. It is to be noted that this edition of the Guidelines will be the only valid official version, and supersedes the "November 2014" edition as from 1 November 2015.
The "November 2015" edition of the Guidelines will be published in all three official languages on the EPO website at URL: www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/guidelines.html and can be downloaded free of charge. It will also be issued in paper form and can be requested using the relevant order form, which can be found at: https://forms.epo.org/service-support/ordering/books-order-form.html.
The English draft of these Guidelines will be available on the EPO website in October in order to accommodate public interest in gaining the earliest possible access to information on the amendments.
The Guidelines have been amended in all eight parts, A to H. They have been updated in view of the validation agreement with Morocco which entered into force on 1 March 2015. The newly introduced possibility to waive the right to a further communication under Rule 71(3) EPC is explained. A number of amendments were made in the light of decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal and the other boards of appeal as well as changes to EPC Implementing Regulations relating to postal services and means of electronic communication which entered into force on 1 April 2015. In addition, further clarification has been provided on the practice of the EPO in dealing with issues of computer-implemented inventions and business methods. Part H-VI (correction of errors) has been restructured and in Part E-II, 7, clarifications for requesting postponement of oral proceedings have been added. The new edition of the Guidelines also reflects comments and proposals received from users.
A full list of the sections of the Guidelines in which a modification has been made is available on the EPO website, with hyperlinks to the relevant section. Within the section, the exact modifications made to the text can be viewed by ticking the "Show modifications" box in the upper right corner.