Automatic inclusion of priority documents in the files of European patent applications

From September 3, 2012, a copy of a previous application is automatically included in the file of a European patent application, which claims the priority the previous application, if the previous application is

  • a European patent application
  • a Chinese patent or utility model application
  • a Japanese patent or utility model application
  • a Korean patent or utility model application
  • a United States provisional or non-provisional patent application

The European Patent Office informs the Applicant of the later filed European patent application if a copy of the previous application was included in the file.

Thus, if a priority of a previous application as listed above is claimed in a European patent application, it is no longer necessary to file a certified priority document with the Eropean Patent Office.

The respective decision of the President of the European Patent Office can be found here: http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/president-notices/archive/20120822.html

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