European Patent Office extends the exemption for filing search reports to China

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The European Patent Convention requires that an applicant filing an application at the European Patent Office (EPO) that claims priority from an earlier application at a national office, should file at the EPO a copy of the results of any searches carried out by the national office on the priority application. If the search results have not been filed when the Examining Division assumes responsibility, an invitation to do so is sent to the applicant.

From 1 July 2021 this will no longer be necessary for applications where the first filing priority application was filed in the People’s Republic of China.

If an invitation has already been issued it is necessary to comply with the request, or the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.

Applicants with first filings in China now join applicants with first filings in Austria, Denmark, Japan, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA in being exempted from the need to file a copy of the search results, since the search results will be available to the EPO.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact the author or your usual Barker Brettell attorney.

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