Acceptance of handwritten amendments in oral proceedings - Rule 82 EPC
October 19, 2015
The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, at its 145th meeting held in Munich on 14 and 15 October 2015, approved a set of amendments to Rule 82 of the Implementing Regulations to the EPC concerning the acceptance of handwritten amendments in oral proceedings.
According to the recently approved provision, the authentic text of the patent as amended will be the text filed during oral proceedings even if the proprietor is unable to provide formally correct documents at that moment. Documents fulfilling the formal requirements under Rule 49(8) EPC will only need to be submitted within a period of three months, as the other formal requirements set forth in Rule 82(2) EPC.
The newly approved wording of Rule 82 EPC will entry into force on 1 May 2016 and will apply to all European patents for which a decision under Article 106(2) or Article 111(2) EPC is taken in oral proceedings on or after its date of entry into force.
This new change follows the suggestions submitted by the epi to Mr Battistelli in a position paper dated 18 February 2015 which explained the problems faced by many European patent attorneys due to the current practice and requested the acceptance of handwritten amendments during oral proceedings.
The Decision of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation containing the newly approved wording of Rule 82 EPC is expected to be published soon. Meanwhile, the approved text can be seen in the attached table.