Important change effective from 1st November 2023: the EPO will discontinue the “10-day rule”
According to the present EPO regulations, any communication issued by the EPO is assumed to be notified 10 days after the date it bears. This implies that any deadline set in terms of a time period from the notification of a communication (e.g. the term for responding to an examination report) is actually triggered 10 days after the date of the communication.
In the frame of the EPO’s digital transformation project, this will no longer apply as of 1st November 2023. Documents issued on or after that date will be assumed to be notified on the date they bear, and deadlines will be defined by the expiry of a time period set by the actual date of the communication.
A safeguard clause will be applicable to documents delivered more than 7 days after the date they bear. In such an exceptional case, the period is extended by the number of days exceeding 7.
By way of example, the standard term for replying to an examination report dated 13 November 2023 will be 13 March 2024 (as opposed to 23 March 2024 according to the present rules). In case the examination report is actually delivered 12 days after the date it bears, the deadline will be extended by 12-7 = 5 days.
Clients and associates are alerted to this important change and should revise their docketing policy as needed. As usual, Studio Torta will be monitoring deadlines and sending reminders as appropriate, so nothing will change in actual practice.