April 07, 2009

On Monday, and in two separate decisions, the European Patent Office announced several revisions to the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention ("EPC"). The first decision (CA/D 2/09) includes revisions to and/or language under Articles 1-3, namely to Rules 36, 57, and 135 under Article 1. Specifically, amendments to Rule 36 (1) and (2), (relating to divisional applications), Rule 57(a) (pertaining to translations), and Rule 135(2) (relating to ruling out further processing) will be implemented on April 1, 2010, per the language provided in Articles 2 and 3. In addition, and under the second decision (CA/D 3/09), several new or revised Rules under Article 1 are presented, namely new Rules 62a and 70a and amended Rules 63, 64, 69, 135, 137, and 161. New Rule 62a relates to applications containing a plurality of claims, whereby an applicant shall be invited to indicate the claims complying with Rule 43, paragraph 2, that will be searched if the claims as filed originally do not comply with that rule. New Rule 70a pertains to responses to the extended European search report, offering an applicant "the opportunity to comment on the extended European search report and, where appropriate, invite him to correct any deficiencies noted in the opinion accompanying the European search report and to amend the description, claims and drawings within the period referred to in Rule 70, paragraph 1." Additional details regarding the new Rules and the revisions to the remaining Rules are as presented in the second link below, all of which, as noted within the link, will become effective on April 1, 2010.

EPO Decision (CA/D 2/09): LINK
EPO Decision (CA/D 3/09): LINK


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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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