Recent Procedural Changes at the EPO

At least once a year, DG1 Patent Procedures Management at the EPO issues a very useful poster on which it sets out changes in EPO procedures and practices which have been implemented in the previous year. This poster is uploaded on the epi website and can be found at for epi members (after login). This draws attention in a readily-accessible way to things which any practitioner ought to know.

Highlights of this year's poster include notifications of a change in Rule 51(1) regarding payment of the 3rd year renewal fee, for which epi and others have been asking for many years, a change in practice regarding third party observations, the implementation of PCT Direct and the introduction of the ability to pay EPO fees by credit card. The poster also provides an easy way to follow amendments to the Guidelines.

It is well worthwhile to obtain a copy and hang it up in your office for easy reference.