GL M for Examination List of sections amended in 2015 revision

PART A
Added services for filing a European patent application on-line
Clarified conditions to be satisfied for a missing part to be considered as “completely contained” in the claimed priority
Updated list of formal requirements that an application has to fulfil
Information on the applicant: Clarified conditions for multiple applicants and for the address to be used for correspondence
Added consequences of a request for early publication on the designation of the inventor
Declaration of priority: clarified requirements under Rule 52(1)
Invitation to file the translation before examination: added exception under Rule 53(3)
Clarified procedure for approving the title of the application
Amended in view of validation states
Amended in view of validation states; clarified application of legal remedies and filing of different set of application documents for extension and validation states
Amended in view of validation states; clarified legal remedies for the payment of the extension or validation fee
Amended in view of validation states
Pendency of the earlier application: amended in view of decisions J 18/09, J 4/11 and J 23/13
Added services for filing a divisional application on-line
Amended in view of validation states
Detailed conditions for conversion by EPO of sequence listings filed in TXT format
The entire chapter has been reviewed
Added services for filing subsequent documents on-line
Added services for filing debit orders on-line
Detailed conditions for the revocation of a debit order
Extension of automatic debiting procedure to international applications
Level of refund of search fee can be subject of a separately appealable decision
PART B
Detailed the search procedure when the claimed unitary subject-matter of the application covers more than one technical field
Detailed the search procedure for further searches on a non-unitary application in more than one technical field
Detailed how the search division deals with claims directed to methods of treatment or diagnosis of illnesses, which are excluded from patentability under the EPC
Detailed how the search division deals with claims containing a mix of technical and non-technical features
Clarified the conditions under which a search report under Rule 61 with no documents cited is issued
PART C
Added reference to ECfS
Amended in view of the new validation states
Added detailed information on handling missing parts of the application in the examination phase
New subsection with detailed information on the invitation to pay additional search fees combined with invitation to restrict the scope of the search
New subsection concerning further action where a request for a translation of the priority application was sent earlier in examination proceedings
New section concerning new submissions in reply to the summons
Amended in view of the introduction of the Rule 71(3) waiver
New section concerning telephone consultations
New section concerning interviews
PART D
Added services for filing a notice of opposition on-line
Content of the notice of opposition: clarified requirements under Rule 76(1)
Clarity of claims: amended in view of G 3/14
PART E
Amended in view of revised Rules 125, 126 and 127
Clarified to whom reasons for postponement of oral proceedings apply
Amended in view of revised Rule 124
Clarified the content of minutes of oral proceedings
Resumption of time limits: amended in view of J 7/83 and J 902/87
Added services for entering the regional phase on-line
Amended main/single request filed with the appeal: clarified conditions under which interlocutory revision will be allowed
PART F
Added reference to G 1/03 concerning claims covering a large number of alternatives, some of them being non-working embodiments
Amended in view of G 3/14
Amended in view of G 2/12 and G 2/13
PART G
Clarified text of exemplary claims under Art. 54(4)
Amended in view of G 2/12 and G 2/13
Amended in view of T 221/10 and T 1441/13
Amended in view of G 2/12 and G 2/13
Claims comprising technical and non‑technical aspects features: amended in view of established case law (T 641/00, T 1784/06, T 172/03, T 154/04, T 756/06, T 258/03, T 414/12, T 1543/06)
Clarified the concept of “unexpected property or effect” for the assessment of inventive step
PART H
Clarified that different set of application documents cannot be filed for extension states
Amended in view of T 2017/07 and T 287/11
Amended in view of G 3/14
Correction of errors: the whole chapter has been reviewed; in particular, a section about errors in publications and formatting/editing errors was added
 
PART A
Clarified where applications cannot be filed
Clarified number system for Euro-PCT applications
Clarified that time limit under Rule 58 is non-extendable
A‑III, 3.4
This section of the Guidelines 2014 has been deleted
Section created by dividing section A‑III, 4.2.2 of Guidelines 2014 in two parts
Clarified that the Form for the designation of inventor is available only from EPO website
Clarified the conditions to be fulfilled by the waiver of the notification under Rule 19(3)
Deficiencies in the priority claim: added duration of time limits
Priority document: added the duration of the time limits and clarified the legal remedies.
Translation of the previous application: clarified duration of time limits
Translation of the previous document: added legal remedies in examination and opposition proceedings.
Updated list of countries for which the EPO includes in the file of a European patent application a copy of the search results referred to in Rule 141(1)
Clarified principle applicable to Euro‑PCT applications entering the European phase before 1 April 2009
Additional fee to be paid if application documents comprise more than thirty-five pages: clarified calculation of the fee for Euro-PCT applications
Translation of the application: clarified conditions for international applications entering the European phase
Clarified duration of time limits in case of deficiencies in the application documents
Added requirements when filing divisional applications
Clarified calculation of renewal fees due when filing a divisional application
Clarified duration of time limit to provide or correct the designation of the inventor
Interruption of time limits: clarified example
Clarified conditions for early publication of the application
Clarified conditions for preventing publication of the application
Updated list of documents transmitted to the Examining Division
Detailed which application documents are used for the publication and the procedure for correcting errors
Updated list of cases in which any applicant can act without a representative
Clarified duration of time limit for appointing common representative
Clarified duration of time limit for appointing representative and filing authorisation
Clarified duration of time limit for filing authorisation of legal practitioner/employee
Added conditions to be respected for the signature of documents where new on-line filing services are used
Updated information concerning EPO bank accounts
Clarified procedure for payment of designation fee
Amended in view of J 4/91 and clarified which is the last renewal fee payable to the EPO
Clarified in which cases a fee payment will be refunded
Clarified the use of debit orders for costs for certified copies
PART B
Introduced reference to new EPO-PCT Guidelines
Detailed the duties of the search division
Clarified position of the search division regarding the ISA opinion when carrying out a supplementary European search
Added examples of how the search division interprets claims
Potentially conflicting European and international applications: clarified definition of E documents under EPC 1973 and EPC 2000
Clarified that non-unity findings may be included in invitation to pay further search fees
Detailed non-unity procedure
Clarified application of Rule 63 in view of T 1242/04
Clarified status of minutes of telephone conversation in the search phase
Clarified requalification procedure of some claims in supplementary ESR
Unity in relation to the search opinion: clarified procedure relating to the invitation to pay additional search fees
Further clarified what does not constitute a valid reply to an ESOP
PART C
Searches under Rule 164(2): added further details of the procedure
Changing from one searched invention to another: paragraph partially re-written to clarify the content
Added cross-reference to parts G‑VI, 7.1.2, 7.1.3 and 7.1.4
Other information in the communication under Rule 71(3): added further details
Refusals: detailed the conditions for sending a refusal
General remark: paragraph partially re-written to clarify the content
Incorporated content of C‑VII, 2.1 of Guidelines 2014
Renumbering of previous sections C‑VII, 2.2 to C‑VII, 2.6.5 of Guidelines 2014
Clarified the status of minutes of an interview or telephone conversation in respect of public inspection.
Added details on procedure regarding oral proceedings
PART D
Added example on burden of proof for common general knowledge
Request for documents: paragraph partially re-written to clarify the content
Interruption of time limits: deleted outdated information
Transitional provisions for Art. 54(4) EPC 1973 and Art. 54(5): added example for “Swiss-type claims”
PART E
Added practical details on the application of Rule 49(8) during oral proceedings
Clarified treatment of third-party observations filed during the international phase
Further clarified when a request for further proceedings can be filed
Clarified where further information about the translation of the international application can be found
Claim to priority: added the duration of the time limit for furnishing the number/copy of the previous application after expiry of 31-month time limit
Sections E‑VIII, 2.8 and 2.9 of Guidelines 2014 have been merged
Clarified basis for a decision of the Examining Division in interlocutory revision proceedings
PART F
Added example on how to define the technical field in the description (Rule 42(1)(a))
Clarified how to define the solution to the technical problem in the description (Rule 42(1)(c))
Sufficiency of disclosure and clarity: paragraph partially re-written to clarify the content
Added how to adapt the description in case of non-unity
Translation of the previous application: paragraph partially re-written to clarify the content
PART G
Matter contrary to “ordre public” or morality: added examples in the biotechnological area
Clarified scope of exclusion from patentability of essentially biological processes
Amended in view of T 1961/13
State of the art pursuant to Art. 54(2): clarified the text regarding “selection inventions”
Selection inventions: clarified meaning of “hidden text” and “seriously contemplating” in view of T 666/89
Further clarified the concept of “unexpected technical effect” in the assessment of inventive step
PART H
Clarified application of Rule 137(3) to amendments filed in reply to a Rule 71(3) communication
Merged sections H‑IV, 2.1 and H‑IV, 2.2 of Guidelines 2014
Amended in view of T 170/87
 
PART A
PART B
PART C
PART D
PART E
PART F
PART G
PART H
 

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EPC Articles

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EPO Guidelines - A Formalities Examination

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