The main body of these Guidelines comprises the following eight parts:
Part A deals with the procedures for formalities examination mainly with regard to grant proceedings. Part B deals with search matters. Parts Part C and Part D relate to procedures to be followed in examination and opposition proceedings, respectively.
Part E deals with general procedural matters relevant to several or all of the stages in procedures before the EPO, including Euro-PCT applications. Part F deals with the requirements which the application must fulfil other than patentability, in particular unity of invention (Art. 82), sufficiency of disclosure (Art. 83), clarity (Art. 84) and the right to priority (Art. 87 to Art. 89). Part G deals with the requirements of patentability provided for in Art. 52 to Art. 57, in particular exclusions from patentability (Art. 52(2) and Art. 53), novelty (Art. 54), inventive step (Art. 56) and industrial application (Art. 57). Part H deals with the requirements relating to amendments and corrections. It relates in particular to questions of admissibility (Rule 80 and Rule 137) and compliance with Art. 123(2) and Art. 123(3), Rule 139 and Rule 140.
The following notices relating to this and other recent updates have been published in the Official Journal of the European Patent Office:
Each part of the Guidelines is divided into chapters, each subdivided into numbered sections that may be further divided into subsections. Cross-references to other sections include the relevant letter of that part, followed by the chapter number (a Roman numeral) and then the section or subsection number (thus, e.g. C‑V, 4.6, would be used if it were desired to refer to subsection 4.6 of chapter V of Part C).
Marginal references to articles and rules without further identification indicate the Articles or Rules of the European Patent Convention as the legal basis for what is stated in the text. It is believed that such references avoid the need for extensive quotation from the EPC itself.
Any references to persons made in the Guidelines are to be understood as being gender-neutral.
Date retrieved: 17 May 2021
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EPC Implementing Rules
EPO Guidelines Foreword
EPO Guidelines - A Formalities Examination
EPO Guidelines - B Search
EPO Guidelines - C Procedureal Aspects of Substantive Examination
EPO Guidelines - D Opposition and Limitation/Revocation Procedures
EPO Guidelines - E General Procedural Matters
EPO Guidelines - F The European Patent Application
EPO Guidelines - G Patentability
EPO Guidelines - H Amendments and Corrections
Offical Journal of the EPO
XOJ EPO 2019, A80 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 1 August 2019 concerning the updating of the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office
XOJ EPO 2018, A73 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 25 July 2018 concerning the updating of the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office
XOJ EPO 2017, A75 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 4 August 2017 concerning the updating of the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office
XOJ EPO 2016, A76 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 2 September 2016 concerning updating of the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office
XOJ EPO 2015, A74 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 28 July 2015 concerning updating of the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office