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Guidelines for examination

Here you will find some important pieces of information about the EPO guidelines for examination

The Guidelines for Examination give instructions on how to proceed with the examination of European applications and patents according to the European Patent Convention and its Implementing Regulations.

In 2012, the European Patent Office decided to allow for annual revisions in order to refresh the Guidelines in their legal and procedural aspects.

The 2013 update of the Guidelines entered into force on September 20, 2013.

As far as structure is concerned, the Guidelines contain information about the formalities examination, the search, the procedural aspects, the opposition, the revocation procedures, general procedural matters, the patent application, patentability, amendments and corrections. 

Corrections in the 2013 revision have been made in all eight parts of the guidelines in order to bring the text into line with recent developments.

The revised Guidelines for Examination (September 2013) are available online in the EPO's three official languages in both PDF and HTML format here.


The September 2013 edition of the Guidelines is the only valid official version, and supersedes the June 2012 edition as from September 
20, 2013. 

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