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EPO introduces systematic top-up search for earlier national rights

Post Time:2022-08-08 Source:EPO Author: Views:


On July 25, European Patent Office (EPO) released on its website that from September 1, 2022, EPO will carry out systematic top-up searches to find "earlier national rights" and assess their prima facie relevance. This new enhanced service will be available free of charge to all applicants. Building on a successful pilot, the EPO will offer applicants an extra service that helps with their decision whether to file separate sets of claims. The examining division will search for earlier national rights, assess their prima facie relevance and communicate the citations of any prima facie relevant national rights in an intention-to-grant communication (Rule 71(3) EPC). On that basis, applicants will be able to make an in-depth assessment of any cited earlier national right.

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