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Important Update: EPO Guidelines for Examination 2024 Now in Effect

Important Update: EPO Guidelines for Examination 2024 Now in Effect

European Industry news News 06/03/2024

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that the latest 2024 version of the Guidelines for Examination are now officially in effect, superseding the previous edition from March 2023.

The guidelines is a crucial document that provides information and instructions for patent examiners at the EPO when evaluating patent applications. The guidelines are frequently used by patent applicants and European patent attorneys also to predict and understand the type of objections that may be raised by the EPO and to avoid potential procedural difficulties.  The guidelines cover a wide range of topics, including:

- Entitlement to claim priority

- Sufficiency of disclosure

- Novelty and inventive step

- Formal requirements for patent applications

What's New?

The 2024 edition incorporates updates to reflect recent changes in EPO practice and case law.

Some notable areas of revision include:

- Clarification on claiming priority based on the recent decision from the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal.

- Sufficiency requirements and proof of technical effect needed for AI inventions.

- Clarification on how opposition proceedings can be accelerated in certain circumstances.


Accessing the Guidelines

The new EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines are available for download on the EPO website in all three official languages (English, French, and German). You can access them in two formats:

PDF: Offered in both a "clean copy" and a version highlighting all modifications compared to the previous edition.

HTML: Allows you to view the guidelines section by section and easily identify changes using the "Show modifications" option.


Visit Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office | to review the new guidelines.