European patent application - Re-establishment of rights

According to Article 122 of the European Patent Convention (EPC),


An applicant for or proprietor of a European patent who, in spite of all due care required by the circumstances having been taken, was unable to observe a time limit vis-à-vis the European Patent Office (EPO) shall have his rights re-established upon request if the non-observance of this time limit has the direct consequence of causing the refusal of the European patent application or of a request, or the deeming of the application to have been withdrawn, or the revocation of the European patent, or the loss of any other right or means of redress. 


The European Patent Office  (EPO) shall grant the request, provided that the conditions of paragraph 1 of this article and any other requirements laid down in the European Patent Convention (EPC)  Implementing Regulations are met. Otherwise, it shall reject the request.


If the request is granted, the legal consequences of the failure to observe the time limit shall be deemed not to have ensued. 


Re-establishment of rights shall be ruled out in respect of the time limit for requesting re-establishment of rights. The  EPC Implementing Regulations may rule out re-establishment for other time limits. 


Any person who, in a designated EPC Contracting State, has in good faith used or made effective and serious preparations for using an invention which is the subject of a published European patent application or a European patent in the period between the loss of rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this article and publication in the European Patent Bulletin of the mention of re-establishment of those rights, may without payment continue such use in the course of his business or for the needs thereof.


Nothing in this Article shall limit the right of a EPC Contracting State to grant re-establishment of rights in respect of time limits provided for in the European Patent  Convention and to be observed vis-à-vis the authorities of such State. 


Prepared by European Patent Registration and Consulting Services GmbH