The 17th printed edition of the European Patent Convention can be ordered as of January 2021. It contains:
- the text of the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC) applicable since 13 December 2007
- the EPC Implementing Regulations as in force since 1 July 2020
- the Rules relating to Fees as in force since 1 July 2020
- the Rules of Procedure of the Enlarged Board of Appeal as in force since 1 April 2015
- the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal as in force since 1 January 2020
- the protocols which are integral parts of the EPC (Protocol on the Interpretation of Article 69 EPC, Protocol on Centralisation, Protocol on Recognition, Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, Protocol on Staff Complement)
- an extract from the EPC Revision Act of 29 November 2000 and
- the Administrative Council's decision of 28 June 2001 on the transitional provisions under Article 7 of the Revision Act.
It also contains an index of decisions and opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal published in the European Patent Office's Official Journal (Annex I) and an EPC 1973-EPC 2000 cross-reference index (Annex II).
The price of the 17th printed edition is EUR 89 (including postage and packing).
It should be noted that this 17th edition will be the last one to be printed. Future editions will be available only in electronic formats.
Available electronic formats
(a) HTML version
Only the HTML version of the EPC is regularly updated and shows all texts as currently in force, i.e. with any amendments (e.g. to the Implementing Regulations) included as from their entry into force.
- Optimised for online use, it contains embedded links to cross-referenced EPC provisions and any Official Journal items published from 2014 onwards.
- The "Version history" function can be used to find any earlier versions of a provision and any related transitional rules.
- What has changed in the HTML version since adoption of the version available in the PDF file can be displayed by checking the "Show modifications" box on the upper right-hand side.
(b) PDF file
The PDF file contains the latest print edition of the EPC (currently the 17th published in December 2020 and as at 1 July 2020) and so does not reflect any amendments adopted by the Administrative Council since its publication.
This is the best version to use for browsing the entire text (EPC, plus protocols, etc.) offline and for full-text searching.
Ancillary Regulations to the European Patent Convention
Many provisions of the EPC and its Implementing Regulations empower the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) to take decisions concerning legal or technical details of proceedings before the EPO. These powers are also implicit in the overall managerial responsibility conferred upon the President.
These ancillary regulations to the EPC are referenced in the footnotes of the 17th edition of the European Patent Convention. In the HTML version, where the reference is to a publication in the Official Journal in 2014 or after, it contains a link to that publication. The EPO intends to make all issues of its Official Journal since 1978 available in HTML format in spring 2021. All the references to notices or decisions in the footnotes of the European Patent Convention (HTML version) will then contain links to the HTML version of the decision or notice in the Official Journal.
As a result, the EPO will no longer issue a supplementary publication of the Official Journal entitled "Ancillary Regulations to the European Patent Convention" and compiling decisions of the EPO President and notices from the EPO. However, the EPO website will feature a new section, which will list the most important decisions and notices by topic.