European Treaty Series - No. 16
European Convention relating to the Formalities required for Patent Applications
The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose, among others, of facilitating their economic and social progress by agreements and common action in economic, social, cultural, scientific, legal and administrative matters;
Considering that it is in the general interest to simplify and unify as far as possible the formalities prescribed by the various national legislations in respect of applications for patents;
Having regard to Article 15 of the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property signed at Paris on 20th March 1883, revised at Brussels on 14th December, 1900, at Washington on 2nd June 1911, at The Hague on 6th November 1925 and at London on 2nd June 1934,
Have agreed as follows:
1An application for a patent in any Contracting State:
amay be required to accord with the provisions of Article 2 of this Convention;
bshall not be denied its date of filing on formal grounds if it complies with the requirements specified in Article 3 of this Convention;
cshall, if it otherwise complies with the law of that Contracting State, not be refused, so long as the requirements specified in Articles 4 to 6 of this Convention are satisfied.
2The Contracting States shall make no other formal requirements than those set out in this Convention, but a Contracting State may dispense with any of the requirements contained herein.
1The applicant for a patent may be required to submit:
aan application form; a Contracting State may, however, require this form in duplicate;
ba specification of the invention in duplicate; a Contracting State which makes use of a system of examination for novelty may, however, require this specification in triplicate;
cdrawings necessary for the understanding of the specification, in duplicate, or, if the law of the country in which the application is made requires it, in triplicate;
dsuch samples as the law of the country in which the application is made requires;
eif an agent is employed, a document proving his authorisation to act as such, and, if the law of the country in which application is made requires it, his acceptance of the authorisation; no legalisation or certification shall be necessary for this document;
fif the applicant is not himself the inventor according to the law of the country in which the application is made, and if such law requires it, a document proving his status, such as assignee of the inventor, or the assent of the inventor to the making of the application by an assignee;
gthe fees required for an application or proof that they have been paid.
2The application form and the accompanying documents shall be written in the language of, or in a language recognised for the purpose by, the country in which the application is made. The specification filed in support of an application for a patent or certificate of addition may be required to be in the same language as the application for the main patent.
1An application shall not be denied its date of filing on formal grounds if the application form, though it does not comply with the requirements of Article 4, is filed accompanied by:
aone copy of a specification of the invention in the language of, or in a language recognised for the purpose by, the country in which the application is made, even though that specification does not comply with the requirements of Article 5;
bone copy of the drawings where necessary for the understanding of the specification, even though those drawings do not comply with the requirements of Article 6;
cthe amount of the fees or proof that they have been paid.
2The law of the country in which application is made may fix time-limits within which the other documents mentioned in Article 2 shall be filed or the documents already filed shall be regularised.
3The Contracting States shall permit applications to be sent by post, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall affect the validity of any laws of any Contracting State relating to the requirement of an agent or of an address for service.
1The application form shall be regarded as formally in order, as regards its size and the kind of paper used, if it is made on strong white paper of a size of 29 to 34 cms by 20 to 22 cms.
2The application form shall be regarded as formally in order as regards its contents if it is properly made on one of the standard application forms annexed to this Convention, or if it complies with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 2 and contains:
athe surname and first names (or in the case of a body corporate, the name), nationality, domicile or registered office and complete address of the applicant;
bthe full name and address of the agent, if there is one;
ca short and precise title for the invention, without any fancy names;
dif the law of the country in which application is made requires it, a declaration stating that the applicant is the true and first inventor or the assignee thereof;
ea statement whether the applicant requires an independent patent, a patent of importation, a patent for an improvement or a patent or certificate of addition or whether his application is a divisional application. There shall also be given the number of the patent, or of the application for the patent, to which the application for a patent for an improvement, or for a patent or certificate of addition or the divisional application relates;
fif there are several applicants and no common agent, the name of the person to whom official communications are to be addressed;
gthe signature of the applicant or that of his agent, if, under the law of the country in which the application is made, the latter is empowered by the applicant to sign. If two application forms are required, only one need be signed;
hif the law of the country in which application is made requires it, a list of the documents accompanying the application as set out in Article 2;
ian address for service in the country in which the application is made, if the applicant's address is outside the country and its law does not require that there be an agent therein.
The specification shall be regarded as formally in order if it complies with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 2 and with the following conditions:
ait is written on one side only of one or more sheets of strong white paper, 29 to 34 cms long and 20 to 22 cms wide; the sheets are connected together in such a way that they can be separated and re-united without causing any difficulty to the reader; and the pages are numbered;
bit is handwritten, typed, lithographed or printed, and easily legible, the ink being dark and indelible;
ca margin of about 3 or 4 cms is left on the left-hand side of each sheet as well as spaces of about 8 cms at the head of the first page and foot of the last;
da space sufficient to permit the interlineation of corrections is left between the lines;
ethe specification does not contain drawings other than graphic chemical and mathematical formulae;
funits of weights and measures are in accordance with the metric system, temperatures in degrees centigrade, and density as specific gravity: for electrical units the rules agreed by international practice are observed and for chemical formulae the symbols, atomic weights and molecular formulae in general use in the country in which the application is made are employed;
gthe specification is reasonably free from erasures, alterations or over-writings, and any which do occur in the originally filed document are mentioned in the margin or recited at the end of the description and initialled, and are made in the same manner on all the copies;
hthe heading recites the surname and first names of the applicant (or in the case of a body corporate, its name) and the title of the invention;
ione or more copies of the specification is or are signed by the applicant or his agent, according to the law of the country in which the application is made.
The drawings shall be regarded as formally in order if they comply with the following conditions:
aone of the copies of the drawings is made on one or more sheets of strong, non-shiny, flexible, transparent material. Not more than two other copies, exact replicas of the first, are supplied on strong, white, smooth, non-shiny paper; these copies may be good quality lithographs. If the copy on flexible, transparent material is made by means of a printing press, the other copies may be printed from the same block. Any Contracting State may, however, require that one of these latter copies shall bear no reference signs;
beach sheet is 29 to 34 cms long by 21 cms wide, or, exceptionally, 42 cms wide. With sheets 21 cms wide, the surface used is no more than 25.7 cms by 17 cms;
call parts of the drawings are executed in durable, dark (if possible, black) markings without colours or colour washes and lend themselves to simple photographic reproduction or to reproduction without any intermediary steps on a stereotype;
dsections are indicated by oblique hatching which does not impede the clear reading of the reference signs and leading lines;
ethe scale of the drawings is such that, depending on the degree of complexity of the figure, a photographic reproduction with a linear reduction in size to two-thirds allows all the detail to be seen without difficulty; and, if the scale is shown on the drawings, it is drawn and not indicated in writing;
fthe different figures are clearly separated one from another, arranged on as few sheets as possible and numbered continuously and independently of the number of sheets;
gall numbers, letters and reference lines appearing on the drawings are simple and clear, the letters and numbers being at least 0.32 cms high; and each item depicted in the figures, insofar as the understanding of the specification requires it, is denoted by the same reference letter or number throughout and these agree with those used in the specification;
hthe drawings do not contain explanatory matter, with the exception of such terms as "water", "steam", "section on AB", "open", "shut", and, in the case of electric block schematic diagrams and flow sheet diagrams, explanatory matter sufficient to enable them to be understood, when such terms and explanatory matter appear in the language of, or in a language recognised for the purpose by, the country in which the application is filed;
ieach sheet carries in the margin the name of the applicant, the total number of sheets with the number of each sheet, and the signature of the applicant or his agent;
jthe drawings are filed in such a way as to be free from creases or cracks unfavourable to photographic reproduction.
1In each Contracting State any person desiring to take advantage, under the Convention of Paris for the Protection of Industrial Property, of the priority of a previous application shall enjoy a period of at least two months, starting from the subsequent application, to make a declaration to this effect. Each Contracting State, however, reserves the right to prescribe that this declaration should be made within the priority period laid down by that Convention.
2When a declaration of priority is made in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article, the applicant may be required to submit a certified copy of the specification and drawings of the original application and such other documents as the law of the country in which the subsequent application is made may require.
3Insofar as the documents referred to in paragraph 2 of this article are drawn up in English, French or German or accompanied by an officially certified translation in one of these languages, it shall not be necessary to provide a translation in the language of, or in a language recognised for the purpose by, the country in which application is made, unless the competent authority requires it.
1This Convention shall be open to the signature of the members of the Council of Europe. It shall be ratified. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
2This Convention shall come into force on the first day of the month following the date of deposit of the fourth instrument of ratification.
3As regards any signatory ratifying subsequently, the Convention shall come into force on the first day of the month following the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification.
1After it has come into force, this Convention shall be open to accession by all States which are members of the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property.
2Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, which shall take effect on the first day of the month following the date of deposit.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify to the members of the Council, to any States which may have acceded to this Convention and to the Director of the International Bureau for the Protection of Industrial Property at Berne:
athe date of entry into force of this Convention and the names of any members of the Council which ratify it;
bthe deposit of any instruments of accession in accordance with Article 9;
cany notification received in accordance with Article 11.
1This Convention shall remain in force for an unlimited time.
2Any Contracting State may denounce this Convention by giving one year's notice to this effect to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.
Done at Paris, this 11th day of December 1953, in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authoritative, in a single copy, which shall remain in the archives of the Council of Europe and of which the Secretary General shall send certified copies to each of the signatory and acceding governments and to the Director of the International Bureau for the Protection of Industrial Property at Berne.