GL FOREWORD 2.2 Abbreviations

In the Guidelines, the following abbreviations are used:
European Patent Convention 
European Patent Office 
Official Journal of the European Patent Office 
Rules relating to Fees 
World Intellectual Property Organization 
Patent Cooperation Treaty 
International Searching Authority 
Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority 
International Preliminary Examining Authority 
International Preliminary Report on Patentability 
International Preliminary Examination Report 
Extended European Search Report 
European Search Opinion (Rule 62) 
Arrangements for deposit accounts 
Arrangements for the automatic debiting procedure 
back-file conversion numerical system 
Prot. Art. 69 
Protocol on the Interpretation of Art. 69 EPC 
Prot. Centr. 
Protocol on the Centralisation of the European patent system and on its introduction (Protocol on Centralisation) 
European Union 
Electronic virtual library 
References to the European Patent Convention (EPC) are references to the European Patent Convention as amended by the Act revising the EPC of 29 November 2000 and the decision of the Administrative Council of 28 June 2001 adopting the new text of the European Patent Convention (OJ EPO Special editions No. 4/2001, pages 56 et seq; No. 1/2003, pages 3 et seq; No. 1/2007, pages 1 to 88) and the Implementing Regulations as adopted by decision of the Administrative Council of 7 December 2006 (OJ EPO Special edition No. 1/2007, pages 89 et seq) and as subsequently amended by decisions of the Administrative Council of 6 March 2008 (OJ EPO 2008, 124), 21 October 2008 (OJ EPO 2008, 513), 25 March 2009 (OJ EPO 2009, 296 and OJ EPO 2009, 299), 27 October 2009 (OJ EPO 2009, 582), 28 October 2009 (OJ EPO 2009, 585), 26 October 2010 (OJ EPO 2010, 568, 634 and 637), 27 June 2012 (OJ EPO 2012, 442), 16 October 2013 (OJ EPO 2013, 501, and 503), 13 December 2013 (OJ EPO 2014, A3 and A4), 15 October 2014 (OJ EPO 2015, A17), 14 October 2015 (OJ EPO 2015, A82 and A83), 30 June 2016 (OJ EPO 2016, A100), 14 December 2016 (OJ EPO 2016, A102), 28 June 2017 (OJ EPO 2017, A55), 29 June 2017 (OJ EPO 2017, A56), 13 December 2017 (OJ EPO 2018, A2), 28 June 2018 (OJ EPO 2018, A57), 28 March 2019 (OJ EPO 2019, A31), 12 December 2019 (OJ EPO 2020, A5) and 27 March 2020 (OJ EPO 2020, A36).
Where necessary, reference is made to the European Patent Convention of 5 October 1973 as amended by the act revising Article 63 EPC of 17 December 1991 and by the decisions of the Administrative Council of 21 December 1978, 13 December 1994, 20 October 1995, 5 December 1996, 10 December 1998 and 27 October 2005.
The reference to articles and rules – and their paragraphs – of EPC 2000 will be as follows: "Article 123, paragraph 2" will be: "Art. 123(2)", "Rule 29, paragraph 7" will be: "Rule 29(7)". Articles and rules of EPC 1973, of the PCT and articles of the Rules relating to Fees are referred to in a similar way, e.g. "Art. 54(4) EPC 1973", "Art. 33(1) PCT" and "Art. 10(1) RFees" respectively. Only where deemed appropriate, i.e. in order to avoid confusion, will references to articles and rules of the EPC be provided with the extension "EPC 2000".
Decisions and opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal will only be referred to with their capital letter and their number, e.g. "G 2/88". Decisions of the technical boards of appeal and the Legal Board of Appeal will be referred to in the same way, e.g. "T 152/82", "J 4/91" and "T 169/88". It is noted that all decisions and opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal and all decisions of the boards of appeal of the EPO are published on the internet ( (see the Notice from the Vice-President Directorate-General 3 dated 3 July 2002, OJ EPO 2002, 442).
The arrangements for deposit accounts and their annexes, including the arrangements for the automatic debiting procedure plus explanatory notes, are published from time to time as Supplements to the Official Journal of the EPO, which are available on the EPO website (

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EPC Articles

EPO Guidelines Foreword

Offical Journal of the EPO

Case Law of the Enlarged Board

General Case Law