Examination of European patent application
The European patent application or European patent may be amended in proceedings before the European Patent Office, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations. In any event, the applicant shall be given at least one opportunity to amend the application of his own volition.
The European patent application or European patent may not be amended in such a way that it contains subject-matter which extends beyond the content of the application as filed.
The European patent may not be amended in such a way as to extend the protection it confers.
Before receiving the European search report, the applicant may not amend the description, claims or drawings of a European patent application unless otherwise provided.
Together with any comments, corrections or amendments made in response to communications by the European Patent Office, the applicant may amend the description, claims and drawings of his own volition. No further amendment may be made without the consent of the Examining Division. Amended claims may not relate to unsearched subject-matter which does not combine with the originally claimed invention or group of inventions to form a single general inventive concept. Nor may they relate to subject-matter not searched in accordance with.
Linguistic errors, errors of transcription and mistakes in any document filed with the European Patent Office may be corrected on request. However, if the request for such correction concerns the description, claims or drawings, the correction must be obvious in the sense that it is immediately evident that nothing else would have been intended than what is offered as the correction. In decisions of the European Patent Office, only linguistic errors, errors of transcription and obvious mistakes may be corrected.
Observations by third parties
In proceedings before the European Patent Office, following the publication of the European patent application, any third party may, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations, present observations concerning the patentability of the invention to which the application or patent relates. That person shall not be a party to the proceedings.
Oral proceedings shall take place either at the instance of the European Patent Office if it considers this to be expedient or at the request of any party to the proceedings. However, the European Patent Office may reject a request for further oral proceedings before the same department where the parties and the subject of the proceedings are the same.
Nevertheless, oral proceedings shall take place before the Receiving Section at the request of the applicant only where the Receiving Section considers this to be expedient or where it intends to refuse the European patent application.
Oral proceedings before the Receiving Section, the Examining Divisions and the Legal Division shall not be public.
Oral proceedings, including delivery of the decision, shall be public, as regards the Boards of Appeal and the Enlarged Board of Appeal, after publication of the European patent application, and also before the Opposition Divisions, in so far as the department before which the proceedings are taking place does not decide otherwise in cases where admission of the public could have serious and unjustified disadvantages, in particular for a party to the proceedings.