Discontinuation of Advance Information on European Regional Phase Entry

Author: Richard Sulston
IP News

The abolition of the ten-day rule is not the only procedural change being made at the European Patent Office (EPO) in November 2023.

With effect from 1 November 2023, the EPO will no longer send Form 1201 to representatives and applicants of International (PCT) patent applications. Form 1201 provides the European Application Number that has been assigned to the international application and offers instructions for entering the European Regional phase.

As a result of the abolition of Form 1201, the European Application Number assigned to PCT applications must be accessed via the EPO register by searching for the International Application Number or International Publication Number. Further, the instructions and information for entering the European phase can now be accessed at any time via the EPO website, here.

The EPO expects that this change will allow them to save over 500,000 sheets of paper per year, helping to achieve their ongoing environmental goals.

It is anticipated that this change will not have any noticeable, adverse impact on the International or European Regional phase of a patent application, especially since the European Patent Application number is not required when completing online Form 1200E for European phase entry. However, to prevent confusion, applicants should be aware of the change, in case it affects their internal monitoring of international applications intended for European Regional Phase entry.

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