See also

  • Warning
    Beware of approaches and requests for payment from firms purporting to register European patents

Complaints procedure

For complaints related to technical aspects of individual files or ongoing patent applications

The EPO has a formal complaints procedure in place which you can use if you are not satisfied with any of the EPO's products or services. 

However, before making a complaint about any of our products or services, you may find it helpful to contact our Customer Services, where our staff would be pleased to help you try and find a solution to your problem. 

You can also get more information from the frequently asked questions on our service & support website. 

We also recommend that you read this warning about payment requests from firms purporting to register European patents.

Please note that our complaints procedure does not replace existing procedural routes for dealing with certain issues. The complaint handling unit cannot take decisions on procedural requests. This is a matter for the competent bodies. If you disagree with a decision issued by the EPO you may wish to consider filing an appeal under Article 106 EPC.

How to make a complaint about the EPO

If you are not satisfied with any of our products or services you can make a complaint using our online form at

Your complaint goes direct to our complaint handling unit, which is responsible for ensuring that all complaints are dealt with fairly and efficiently. The complaint handling unit is also responsible for

  • ensuring that suitable measures are taken to address your complaint
  • following up on these measures, and, where necessary,
  • providing a comprehensive reply to your complaint.

You will receive an acknowledgment of receipt by e-mail within one working day after registration of your complaint in our database, and we will make every effort to process your complaint within 20 working days of registration.

For help addressing difficulties in dealings with the EPO when the regular channels for resolution have been exhausted the Ombuds Office by sending an e-mail to

The Ombuds Office is there to assist you in getting things back on track in a confidential and informal manner.

Enquiries addressed to the Ombuds Office will be handled under strict confidentiality following the principles of informality and neutrality.

The Ombuds Office service is complementary to existing services such as the complaints service and does not address matters that concern the Boards of Appeal.

Your enquiry will go direct to a confidential mailbox accessed only by Ombuds Office members handling issues raised by external stakeholders.

We will treat your matter in the strictest confidence, sharing only the essential minimum information required to address your issue with the appropriate member(s) of management. Once your issue has been closed, we will remove all personal and organisational references from our records. Generic, anonymous data relevant for systemic quality purposes will be retained.

The Ombuds Office reserves the right to share any information revealing illegal activity or serious risk of harm with the appropriate members of EPO management.

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