How to apply for a European patent (part 3/4)

von Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP

In our last blog post we dealt with some preliminary considerations, with the importance of a thorough patent research and informed you about some crucial aspects of filing your application for a European patent with the EPO.

Today's part 3 of our blog series on how to apply for a European patent is about what happens after you filed your application, i.e. the examination on filing and the formalities examination, and what you have to consider when your application is published by the EPO. So today we'll deal with steps 3 till 5.

3. Examination on filing and formalities examination

After you’ve filed your application the process of granting begins.

First the EPO does an examination on filing. During this examination the EPO checks if the application is really complete, i.e. if all important documents have been included and if all required data have been supplied.

The following data are necessary:

  • A note stating that you’re applying for a European patent
  • Data to identify the inventor
  • A description of the invention or a reference to a previously filed application

When everything important has been provided, an official application date is defined. If no patent claims have been included until this time, they must be submitted subsequently, but no later than two months, after the examination on filing.

During the formalities examination the EPO checks formalities like the contents of the request for grant, the drawings and summary. They also check if the inventor is named, a professional representative is appointed and all necessary translations have been made. And have you paid all necessary fees?

4. Preliminary research done by the EPO

Patents are an examined property right. This means the EPO initiates a preliminary research and collects all available documents which might be relevant for evaluating your invention’s novelty ...

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