FAQ - European Patent Register
European Patent Register
European Patent Register
What is the European Patent Register?
The European Patent Register is the place where the European Patent Office stores all the publicly accessible information on European patents and patent applications in the various stages of the grant procedure.
The European Patent Register is free of charge.
What can I do with the European Patent Register?
The European Patent Register contains all the publicly available information on European patent applications as they pass through the grant procedure, including oppositions, patent attorney/EPO correspondence and more.
You can use the Register to:
- find out what stage in the procedure a European patent application has reached
- see whether a European patent application has been granted, or will be granted soon
- check whether any oppositions to a European patent have been filed
- read correspondence between the EPO and a patent applicant/attorney
- access patent family and legal status information
- download data for later study.
When are applications published in the European Patent Register?
European patent applications are generally published 18 months after the date of filing or the earliest priority date. Prior to publication the application is kept confidential by the patent office.
New EP applications are published once a week (usually on Wednesday at 14.00 hrs CET).
To receive notification when an application is published, you can sign up for the free Register Alert service and add the unpublished application to your monitoring list. Read more about Register Alert.
- The European Patent Register provides information on PCT applications approximately four to five weeks after their publication by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
- Until PCT files enter the regional phase before the EPO 31 months after the priority date, the Register displays their bibliographic data as published by WIPO.
- The Register provides up-to-date information about the file's entry into the regional phase before the EPO. When the 31-month deadline is reached, the Register indicates whether the applicant has performed any of the steps necessary for entering the regional phase, such as paying the fees or filing the translation.
- If the file does not enter the regional phase (because the applicant does not pay the fees in time or file the translation), the PCT application is deemed to be withdrawn, and some administrative work has to be done (approximately 33 months after the priority date).
The EPO publishes a divisional application as soon as possible after its filing. However, at least five weeks are needed for technical preparations before publication.
When will a document or correspondence become visible in the European Patent Register?
- For publicly available outgoing communications: on the day after the date of despatch.
- For publicly available incoming communications: once the filed document has been coded by the EPO. Please note that the date displayed alongside a document in the All documents view is the date of receipt by the EPO.
How do I search for files in the European Patent Register?
You can choose between three types of search: Quick search, Advanced search and Smart search:
Quick search allows you to access an individual ﬁle immediately by entering the EP publication number or the EP application number (e.g. EP1833031).
Advanced search allows you to assemble a complex search query by combining 14 different search criteria. For each search criterion you can enter multiple search terms.
Smart search allows you to enter a single search term or a combination of search terms, including names, dates and classification symbols (e.g. coffee machines filed by Jura). You can also search for patent documents by application number, publication number or priority number.
What is the Federated Register?
The Federated Register is a new section built into the EP Register that provides data on the legal status of an EP patent document in the national phase. A single click takes you to a clear overview of the registers of all the designated contracting states. This is especially interesting for patent professionals, such as patent attorneys, IP consultants or industry representatives.
For the moment only the EPC member states provide data to the Federated Register service.
How can I get direct access to national office registers?
When a country code has an arrow and is underlined, you can click on it to go directly to that country's register:
Please note that links may not be available for every country.
What type of information will be displayed in the Federated Register?
For each designated contracting state offering this service you will be able to view:
- the status of the patent document,
- the number under which it is published,
- the proprietor,
- whether or not a patent is currently in force,
- when renewal fees were last paid, and
- when the national register was last updated.
What does “invalidation date” mean?
Based on data provided by a national register, the “invalidation date” displayed could be one of the following dates, in this order:
- patent withdrawn
- patent revoked
- patent lapsed or
- patent expired.
What does “not in force since” mean?
The rights conferred by the patent are no longer in force (as from the date indicated).