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FAQ - European Patent Register

European Patent Register

What is the European Patent Register?

The European Patent Register (the Register) is the official place where the European Patent Office stores all publicly accessible documentation and legal status information on European patent applications and Euro-PCT patent applications as they pass through the various stages of the patent grant procedure, including opposition and certain details of the appeal procedure. Post-grant information, on the other hand, is available in the Federated Register. The European Patent Register is free of charge.

How can I use the European Patent Register?

You can use the Register to:

  • find out what stage the European patent application has reached in the grant procedure
  • find out if an application has been granted or is intended to be granted
  • check whether oppositions have been filed
  • read correspondence between the EPO and a patent applicant and/or attorney
  • access patent family and legal status information
  • monitor applications by means of the Register Alert service
  • check the legal status of patents in the national phase (post grant) in the Federated Register service
  • view the file wrapper of IP5 members and others in the Global Dossier (if available)
  • download data in WIPO/ST36 standard
  • download selected documents in the All documents view (file inspection)

What are the rules of publication and when are they available in the Register?

EP publications

EP applications are published as soon as possible after the expiry of a period of eighteen months from the date of filing or, where priority is claimed, from the earliest priority date. Upon request from the applicant, the application may, however, be published before that date, provided that the filing and search fees have been validly paid and there are no formal deficiencies in the application documents. Prior to publication the application is kept confidential. Reference is made to the Guidelines for Examination, Part A-VI, 1.

EP applications are published once a week, every Wednesday at 14.00 hrs CET.

PCT publications handled by the EPO (Euro-PCT)

Euro-PCT applications are published 31 months from the date of filing of the international application or (where applicable) the earliest priority date. In principle, the international publication of an international application (PCT application) takes the place of the publication of a European patent application (Euro-PCT) when it is received in one of the official EPO languages. For more details see Article 153(3) EPC.

Note: Publication of a PCT application is the responsibility of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). International applications are published by WIPO 18 months from the international filing date or the earliest priority date.

Reference

Divisional applications

In general, divisional applications are published as soon as possible after filing, but not prior to the publication of the parent application. A delay of up to five weeks may occur because of the technical preparations that need to be completed prior to publication.

General note on publication rules: The publication cycles described above are subject to exceptions that can delay publication.

When will a document or correspondence become visible in the European Patent Register?

Publicly available outgoing communications are displayed in the Register on the day after the date of despatch.

Publicly available incoming communications are displayed in the Register as a rule one day after the document has been coded by the EPO. Please note that the date displayed alongside a document in the All documents view is the date of receipt by the EPO.

How do I search for files in the European Patent Register?

You can choose between two types of search: Advanced search and Smart search.

Advanced search allows you to assemble a complex search query by combining 14 different search criteria. For each search criterion you can enter multiple search terms. The default operator in the search fields is AND.

Smart search allows you to enter a single search term or a combination of search terms, including names, dates and classification symbols. You can also search for patent documents by application, publication or priority number. The default operator in the search field is AND.

Tip: Open, download and save or print the European Patent Register pocket guide so that you always have a concise collection of practical search tips to hand.

Federated Register

What is the Federated Register?

The Federated Register is a service in the EP Register that provides data on the legal status of an EP patent document in the national phase, also known as the post-grant phase. The Federated Register panel displays – in a single overview – the legal status of a patent in the designated contracting and extension states offering the service during the national phase. If validation states have been designated, they are listed in the section National patent registers below the overview. Most country codes have deep links to the corresponding record in the national patent register so you can access the legal status information at source for legal certainty. The Federated Register is a significant legal source of information for patent professionals such as patent attorneys, IP consultants and industry representatives.

How can I get direct access to national patent registers?

Country codes that are underlined and marked with an arrow in the Register are connected direct via deep linking to the corresponding national patent register record and legal status information.

For legal certainty in the national phase, always refer to the information in the national patent registers. Please note that deep links may not be available for every country. Read more on the EPO webpages under Data coverage.

What type of information is displayed in the Federated Register?

For each designated contracting state offering the Federated Register service you will be able to view:

  • the country code (with deep links if available)
  • the status of the patent document
  • the number under which it is published
  • the proprietor
  • whether or not a patent is currently in force
  • when renewal fees were last paid and
  • when the record or, if not available, the national patent register was last updated.

What does "invalidation date" mean?

Based on data provided by a national patent register, the "invalidation date" displayed could be one of the following dates, in this order:

  • patent withdrawn
  • patent revoked
  • patent lapsed or
  • patent expired.

What does “not in force since” mean?

The rights conferred by the patent are no longer in force (as from the date indicated).

Register alert

What is Register Alert?

Register Alert is a service within the European Patent Register which allows you to monitor most changes to files due to procedural actions during the European patent procedure. You can monitor up to a thousand files per Register Alert account and have the alert notifications sent to five different email addresses.

What are the browser requirements for Register Alert?

To make full use of all the features in Register Alert, you must have either Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher or Mozilla Firefox 1.0 or higher.

What do I do if I forget my username or password?

Please follow this link to request a new password or a user name reminder:

When are Register Alert notifications sent?

For outgoing communications: email alert notifications are sent once the events in question are coded by the EPO. Depending on the procedure, the communications to which the events refer are accessible in All documents, either on the same day or with a few days' delay. For more information on this, see Register events.

For incoming communications: alert notifications are sent once the communications in question are coded by the EPO. This explains why a document in All documents can have a date that precedes the date of the Register Alert notification.

Can I delete my profile?

No, you cannot delete a profile yourself. However, you can stop receiving email notifications by deactivating the checkbox in Monitored applications -> Preferences -> Notification.

What is a Register event?

A Register event is a procedural action taken by any party to the proceedings and involving a coding (addition/deletion/change of data) that can trigger an entry in the European Patent Register. For more information on this, see Register events.

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