EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Notice from the European Patent Office dated 15 February 2023 concerning the situation in Türkiye and Syria after the earthquakes on 6 February 2023
1. In view of the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria attention is drawn to the general legal remedies provided for under the European Patent Convention in cases of non-observance of time limits, in particular, to the application of Rule 134(2) EPC in accordance with this Notice, as well as the potential application of Rule 134(5) EPC and Rule 82quater.1 PCT.
2. In the case of parties who reside in Türkiye or have appointed representatives with their place of business in Türkiye, time limits expiring in the period from 6 February to 6 April are extended to 7 April 2023 pursuant to Rule 134(2) EPC.
3. Without prejudice to paragraph 2 of this Notice, Rule 134(5) EPC offers a safeguard in the case of non-observance of a time limit as a result of a dislocation in the delivery or transmission of mail caused by an exceptional occurrence such as a natural disaster or other like reasons affecting the locality where an applicant, a party or their representative resides or has their place of business. This provision applies to cases where the failure to observe time limits is the result of exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the person concerned and may therefore be invoked by any applicants, parties to proceedings or their representatives affected by the earthquakes in Syria.
4. Pursuant to Rule 134(5) EPC, any document received late will be deemed to have been received in due time if the person concerned offers evidence that on any of the ten days preceding the day of expiry of a time limit, the mail service was dislocated due to the effects of the earthquakes, and that the mailing or the transmission was effected at the latest on the fifth day after the end of the disruption.
5. Without prejudice to paragraph 2 of this Notice, as for time limits and conditions applicable under the PCT, applicants are referred to Rule 82quater.1 PCT. This provision applies to international applications pending in the international phase, but not to the period for claiming priority. Nevertheless, if an international application is received at the EPO after expiry of the priority period, restoration of the right of priority pursuant to Rule 26bis.3 PCT may be available.