EPO Relaxes Requirements Regarding US Priority Documents
Where a European patent application claims priority from:
- a US preliminary patent application
- a US patent application, or
- a US utility model application,
the EPO will attempt to retrieve a copy of the priority document directly from the USPTO. Provided that the US application from which priority is claimed has published or an authorisation permitting the EPO to retrieve a copy of the priority application has been filed at the USPTO, it will no longer be necessary to lodge certified copies of documents filed at the USPTO to support priority claims made in connection with European patent applications.
This change in practice applies only to European patent applications filed on or after 16 January 2007, or to International applications which entered the European regional phase on or after that date.
This change in practice brings the EPO's requirements concerning the support of priority claims from US filings into line with the requirements for supporting priority claims made from Japanese applications.