Part X – International applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty – Euro-PCT applications
(1) The European Patent Office shall be
(a) a designated Office for any State party to this Convention in respect of which the PCT is in force, which is designated in the international application and for which the applicant wishes to obtain a European patent, and
(b) an elected Office, if the applicant has elected a State designated pursuant to letter (a).
(2) An international application for which the European Patent Office is a designated or elected Office, and which has been accorded an international date of filing, shall be equivalent to a regular European application (Euro-PCT application).
(3) The international publication of a Euro-PCT application in an official language of the European Patent Office shall take the place of the publication of the European patent application and shall be mentioned in the European Patent Bulletin.
(4) If the Euro-PCT application is published in another language, a translation into one of the official languages shall be filed with the European Patent Office, which shall publish it. Subject to Article 67, paragraph 3, the provisional protection under Article 67, paragraphs 1 and Article 67, paragraphs 2, shall be effective from the date of that publication.
(5) The Euro-PCT application shall be treated as a European patent application and shall be considered as comprised in the state of the art under Article 54, paragraph 3, if the conditions laid down in paragraph 3 or 4 and in the Implementing Regulations are fulfilled.
(6) The international search report drawn up in respect of a Euro-PCT application or the declaration replacing it, and their international publication, shall take the place of the European search report and the mention of its publication in the European Patent Bulletin.
(7)182 A supplementary European search report shall be drawn up in respect of any Euro-PCT application under paragraph 5. The Administrative Council may decide that the supplementary search report is to be dispensed with or that the search fee is to be reduced.
181See decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 4/08 (Annex I).
182See decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 11/09 of 28.10.2009 (OJ EPO 2009, 594) dispensing with the supplementary European search report in the case of an international application where the international search report or supplementary international search report was drawn up by the EPO.
See decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 8/15 CA/D 16/22 of 16.12.2015 14.12.2022 (OJ EPO 2016, A2OJ EPO 2023, A2) reducing adjusting the amount of the reduction in the fee for the supplementary European search where the international search report or supplementary international search report was drawn up by the Austrian Patent Office, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, the Swedish Patent and Registration Office Intellectual Property Office, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, the Nordic Patent Institute or the Visegrad Patent Institute. This decision is applicable to international applications filed up to and including 31.03.2020 31.03.2024 where the fee for the supplementary European search is paid on or after 01.07.2016 01.04.2023.
See decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 16/17 of 13.12. 2017 (OJ EPO 2018, A3) abrogating decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 10/05 (OJ EPO 2005, 548) concerning cases where the search fee for the supplementary European search is to be reduced.