Reminder: Changes of EPC Entering Into Force as from 1 January 2011 (Information on Prior Art)

As already mentioned earlier on this blog, the following important changes of the EPC Implementing Regulations will enter into force on 1 January 2011 (see also EPO Notice of 28 July 2010): Amended Rule 141 EPC (Information on prior art) requires that for a priority-claiming EP application, copies of the search results drawn up for the priority application(s) have to be filed upon filing the EP application or upon PCT national phase entry, based on the following constraints: a translation of the search results is not required; copies of cited prior art are not required; search reports not available upon filing have to be filed "without delay after they are made available"; search results of the ISA have to be filed for priority-claiming PCT applications. In future, the EPO may also request any information on prior art taken into consideration in further parallel national/regional examinations. New Rule 70b EPC (Request for a copy of search results) clarifies that, if the information pursuant amended Rule 141 is not filed in time, a (non-extendable) two-months time limit is set to either file the required search results or a statement of non-availability. If the applicant fails to reply in due time to this invitation, his application will be deemed to be withdrawn (further processing available). For priority-claiming divisional applications, the EPO will automatically issue an invitation under new Rule 70b. If the required search results have already been filed for the parent application, a reply is not required. If for the parent application a statement of non-availability has been filed, the copy of the relevant search results, if available, or a new statement of non-availability is required ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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