GL A XI 2.2 Procedure for file inspection

The President of the EPO determines all file inspection arrangements, including the circumstances in which an administrative fee is payable (see the DecisionsDecision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, J.2).[Rule 145(2); Art. 3(1) RFees; ]
Once available inThe electronic form,files can be inspected free of charge online via the European Patent Register(see also the above-mentioned Decision of the President of the EPO).
Other forms of file inspection, e.g. by furnishing paper copies, are available on request and subject to payment of an administrative fee (see A-XI, 1). No particular form is prescribed for the request, except that it must be filed in writing with the EPO at one of its filing offices. The EPO offers a form via its website on the Internet. The request should contain information about the payment of the fee. Requests filed by fax (see A‑VIII, 2.5) or submitted through the Internet will be processed without confirmation.
A fee, if any, falls due when the request is received. The method of payment and date on which payment is deemed to have been made are dealt with in the Rules relating to Fees (see A-X). Where the administrative fee has been duly paid, it will not be refunded.[]
With regard to the inspection of files containing high-volume sequence listings, see A‑IV, 5.

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EPC Implementing Rules

EPC Rules relating to Fees

EPO Guidelines - A Formalities Examination