Notice from the European Patent Office dated 12 August 2019 concerning the updating of the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the European Patent Office as PCT Authority (PCT-EPO Guidelines)
By decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 August 2019 and pursuant to Article 10(2) EPC, the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the European Patent Office as PCT Authority (PCT-EPO Guidelines) have been amended in line with the EPO's policy of updating them on an annual basis. The amended PCT-EPO Guidelines, which will enter into force on 1 November 2019, will be published as a complete November 2019 edition which will supersede the November 2018 edition.
Like the previous editions, the November 2019 edition of the PCT-EPO Guidelines will be published only in electronic form and will be available in all three official languages on the EPO website at , where it can be downloaded free of charge.
The Guidelines are available in PDF format – including a clean copy and a version showing all modifications – and in HTML format. Within each section of the HTML version, the actual amendments can be viewed by ticking the "Show modifications" box in the top right-hand corner. A full list of the sections which have been amended, together with corresponding hyperlinks, is also available.
In order to serve the public interest in making the amendments available as soon as possible, an advance "preview" version of the PCT-EPO Guidelines in English will be published on the EPO website in October.
Amendments have been made to all parts of the PCT-EPO Guidelines. The major change is the expansion of Part A, which now includes a chapter dedicated to filing international applications and formal examination upon filing (Chapter II) and a chapter dedicated to drawings (Chapter V). Other amendments aim at further improving the text of the previous edition or at updating it, for instance those introduced to accommodate the entry into force of revised Rule 69.1(a) PCT as from 1 July 2019. The new edition of the PCT-EPO Guidelines also reflects proposals and comments received from users.
The content of the PCT-EPO Guidelines will continue to be expanded in the next edition.