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Law & practice

National law relating to the EPC

21st edition, March 2022

With its "National law relating to the EPC" booklet, the EPO aims to provide European patent applicants and proprietors, and all others concerned with the European patent system, with a concise guide to the most important provisions and requirements of the relevant national law in the EPC contracting states, extension states and validation states.

Content description

The booklet is essentially a guide to the law and practice of the EPC contracting states, extension and validation states applicable to European patent applications and patents. The synopses given in the following tables have been prepared in close co-operation with the authorities of the respective states responsible for the protection of industrial property.

The tables have been drawn up with great care, but their completeness and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. They are very concise, focusing on the essentials, and are therefore no substitute for consulting the national legal sources themselves and seeking professional advice where appropriate. National patent law and practice are not static; they are changing and developing all the time. Users of the booklet may therefore wish to consult the official publications of the contracting states to make sure that the legal provisions summarised in the tables - and especially the fee amounts given - are still up to date. The EPO will continue to provide regular updates in its Official Journal about legal developments in the contracting states. It also updates the online version of this booklet whenever it learns of any changes at national level.

Available formats & updating

The most up-to-date version of the "National law relating to the EPC" publication is thus the HTML file, which is optimised for online use. This HTML version is regularly updated; changes made since the edition in the printable PDF file can be viewed by checking the "Show modifications" box in the top right hand corner. Insertions are displayed with a green background and deletions in red strikethrough font. For sections in which no changes have been made, the check box is greyed out.

The PDF file contains the latest printable edition (21st edition, March 2022). This is the best version for offline browsing, including full-text search functionality.

An updated list of current bank accounts of national patent offices (for paying EP-related renewal and other fees) has been extracted from Part VIII of the booklet and is available as a PDF file.

A print version of the booklet is not available.