EPO “10-day rule” grand finale on November 1st

14 September 2023

The ten-day rule stipulating that documents sent by the EPO are deemed to be delivered ten days after the date printed on the document has been amended.

14 September 2023

The well-known European Patent Office (EPO) “10-day rule” (Rule 126(2) EPC) provides that the delivery date of official letters or communications is considered to be ten days after the date of issuance shown on the EPO communication. For example, for an EP office action with a four-month period for response, currently the actual response deadline is 10 days plus four months from the date of the office action. The extra 10 days was introduced to account for the time it took for documents to be delivered by the postal services.

From 1 November 2023, a document will be considered “delivered” on the date shown on the communication. For example, for an EP office action with a four-month period for response, the response deadline will be four months from the date shown on the office action. This change will affect most deadlines before the EPO.

By providing advance notice of this change since last year, the EPO hopes to allow applicants and their representatives plenty of time to adjust to this new way of working, and to update computer systems if necessary. The EPO has conducted a public campaign to ensure that all parties concerned are aware of this important rule change.

Transitional provisions may be put in place and there will be safeguards for the rare occasions on which a document fails to reach the addressee on the date of issuance printed on the official EPO communication.

Do not hesitate to contact us at patentes@herrero.es for further information.

5/5 - (2 votes)

Susana Ruiz Pérez

Licenciada en Ciencias Físicas. Agente Europeo de Patentes

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