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Applying for a patent

European Patent Guide – How to get a European patent

20th edition, updated to
1 April 2020

The "European Patent Guide" has been designed to provide inventors, companies and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in applying for a European patent, offering practical advice to smooth the way through the various stages.

Content description

This updated 20th edition of the Guide is based on the revised European Patent Convention (EPC 2000) which entered into force on 13 December 2007. All references to articles or rules in the Guide therefore relate to the EPC as in force since that date. The Guide cannot go into the details or specific issues of the European patent grant procedure, and it does not constitute an official commentary on the European Patent Convention (EPC).

If you need more detailed information, you are advised to consult the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, a comprehensive guide to every stage of the grant procedure and to EPO practice.

Available formats

The 20th edition of "European Patent Guide - How to get a European patent"  is available online in the EPO's three official languages in both HTML and PDF format. The printed version has been discontinued.

While the HTML version is optimised for online use, the PDF version offers the best solution for off-line browsing, including full-text search functionality.

The content of the Guide is also available as an e-learning module.

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