Filing certified copies of priority documents

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Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:43 am

Filing certified copies of priority documents

Post by dnelms » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:50 am

Is it allowed for the filing of certified copies of priority documents to be undertaken by persons who are not registered as professional representatives with the EPO?
If so, where is the basis for this in the EPC?
Thank you,
David Nelms.

EPO / Patent Information
Posts: 470
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:36 pm

Filing certified copies of priority documents

Post by EPO / Patent Information » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:09 am

Dear Mr Nelms,

Our customer services have replied:

A certified copy of each earlier application for which a priority is claimed (priority document) must be submitted by the applicant to the receiving Office or to the International Bureau before the expiration of 16 months from the (earliest) priority date or, where an early start of the national phase is requested, not later than at the time such request is made.

Please see Art Article 8 PCT
Rule 4.10 PCT
Rule 17.1 PCT

Claiming Priority for a subsequent European patent application

Concerning a first filing in one country and the subsequent filing of a European patent application, please note that under the European Patent Convention (EPC) i.e. for a direct European patent application, any person who has duly filed, in or for any State party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property any Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), an application for a patent, a utility model or a utility certificate, or his successor in title, shall enjoy, for the purpose of filing a European patent application in respect of the same invention, a right of priority during a period of twelve months from the date of filing of the first application. Please see Article 87(1)(a)(b) EPC about the effect of the priority. In this respect, please note that the twelve month period according to Article 87 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) is non-extendable.

To claim the priority of an earlier application you must indicate the date, country and file number of the earlier application. You must also file the priority document, i.e. a copy of the earlier application certified by the authority with which it was filed, together with authentication of its filing date from that authority. This is the original document issued by the office of first filing. A translation of the priority document only needs to be provided if you are explicitly invited to do so by the EPO.

You must supply the complete declaration of priority and the priority document no later than sixteen months after the earliest priority date.

For information see the 'Guide for applicants' - How to get a European patent Part I Claiming priority ... c_i_8.html.

Please send your priority document as an original by post to:

European Patent Office
80298 Munich

It is not explicitly foreseen that the documents can only be filed by professional representatives with the EPO.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have comments or questions on this or any other subject. For information on how to reach us, visit
Kind regards,

The Patent Information User Support Team

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