Brief Notes

EPC articles rules sheet


This brief note is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only.
Here’s a one page quick cheat sheet of some EPC codes and Rules. It’s of assistance when reading EPO opinions. It’s arranged in numerical order irrespective of code or rule. [Bracket is a comment.]

Article/Rule Text
Rule 43(2) EPC A European patent application may contain more than one independent claim in the same category (product, process, apparatus or use) only if it's highly interrelated. [You run smack into unity of invention otherwise.] [Conciseness]
Article 52(1) EPC European patents shall be granted for any inventions, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application.
Article 54(1) EPC An invention shall be considered to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art. [Novelty]
Article 54(2) EPC The state of the art shall be held to comprise everything made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the European patent application.
Article 54(3) EPC Additionally, the content of European patent applications as filed, the dates of filing of which are prior to the date referred to in paragraph 2 and which were published on or after that date, shall be considered as comprised in the state of the art.
Article 56 EPC An invention shall be considered as involving an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art. If the state of the art also includes documents within the meaning of Article 54, paragraph 3, these documents shall not be considered in deciding whether there has been an inventive step.
Rule 71(3) Intention to grant European patent. Text and bio info sent for approval.
Article 83 EPC The European patent application shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art. [Written description/enablement]
Article 84 EPC The claims shall define the matter for which protection is sought. They shall be clear and concise and be supported by the description.
Article 123(2) EPC The European patent application or European patent may not be amended in such a way that it contains subject-matter which extends beyond the content of the application as filed. [Support needed in spec]
Rule 137(3) EPC No further amendment may be made without the consent of the Examining Division.


The EPO (European Patent Office) uses Articles and Rules. They can be found here:

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