World Intellectual Property Organization


December 2014 | No. 12/2014


European Patent Office: National Phase Information

Amendments to the EPC regarding unity of invention and further searches upon entry into the European regional phase

Amendments to the European Patent Convention (EPC) entered into force on 1 November 2014 which allow applicants to obtain, upon payment of a (further) search fee, a search of any invention claimed which was not searched by the European Patent Office (EPO) in the international phase. Furthermore, applicants may choose any invention searched by the EPO either in the international phase, in the procedure for supplementary European search or in the procedure under amended EPC Rule 164 as the basis for further prosecution of a PCT application in the European regional phase.

For further information, please see the EPO Official Journal of July 2014 at:

the Decision of the Administrative Council of 16 October 2013 amending Rules 135 and 164 of the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention, published on 24 October 2013, at:

and the following webinar available on the EPO website:


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