Examination of European patent application
In proceedings before it, the European Patent Office shall examine the facts of its own motion; it shall not be restricted in this examination to the facts, evidence and arguments provided by the parties and the relief sought. The European Patent Office may disregard facts or evidence which are not submitted in due time by the parties concerned.
In proceedings before the European Patent Office the means of giving or obtaining evidence shall include the following:
(a) hearing the parties;
(b) requests for information;
(c) production of documents;
(d) hearing witnesses;
(e) opinions by experts;
(g) sworn statements in writing.
The European Patent Office may, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations, invite the applicant to provide information on prior art taken into consideration in national or regional patent proceedings and concerning an invention to which the European patent application relates. If the applicant fails to reply in due time to an invitation, the European patent application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.
The European Patent Office shall examine, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations, whether the application satisfies the requirements for the accordance of a date of filing.
If a date of filing cannot be accorded, the application shall not be dealt with as a European patent application.
If the European patent application has been accorded a date of filing, the European Patent Office shall examine, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations as well as any other requirement laid down in the Implementing Regulations.
Where the European Patent Office in carrying out the examination notes that there are deficiencies which may be corrected, it shall give the applicant an opportunity to correct them.
If any deficiency noted in the examination is not corrected, the European patent application shall be refused unless a different legal consequence is provided for by this Convention. Where the deficiency concerns the right of priority, this right shall be lost for the application.
The European Patent Office shall, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations, draw up and publish a European search report in respect of the European patent application on the basis of the claims, with due regard to the description and any drawings.
The European Patent Office shall, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations, examine on request whether the European patent application and the invention to which it relates meet the requirements of this Convention. The request shall not be deemed to be filed until the examination fee has been paid.
If no request for examination has been made in due time, the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.
If the examination reveals that the application or the invention to which it relates does not meet the requirements of the Convention, the Examining Division shall invite the applicant, as often as necessary, to file his observations and to amend the application.
If the applicant fails to reply in due time to any communication from the Examining Division, the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.
An applicant claiming priority shall file a copy of the results of any search carried out by the authority with which the previous application was filed together with the European patent application, in the case of a Euro-PCT application on entry into the European phase, or without delay after such results have been made available to him. The copy shall be deemed to be duly filed if it is available to the European Patent Office and to be included in the file of the European patent application under the conditions determined by the President of the European Patent Office. The European Patent Office may invite the applicant to provide, within a period of two months, information on prior art.
Proceedings before the European Patent Office shall be interrupted:
(a) in the event of the death or legal incapacity of the applicant for or proprietor of a European patent or of the person authorised by national law to act on his behalf. To the extent that the above events do not affect the authorisation of a representative as appointed, proceedings shall be interrupted only on application by such representative;
(b) in the event of the applicant for or proprietor of a patent, as a result of some action taken against his property, being prevented by legal reasons from continuing the proceedings;
(c) in the event of the death or legal incapacity of the representative of an applicant for or proprietor of a patent, or of his being prevented for legal reasons resulting from action taken against his property from continuing the proceedings.
When, in the cases, the European Patent Office has been informed of the identity of the person authorised to continue the proceedings, it shall notify such person and, where applicable, any third party, that the proceedings will be resumed as from a specified date.