Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Draft version of Guidelines 2018 available (GL/EPO and GL/PCT-EPO)

Yesterday, 1.10.2018, draft versions of the amended Guidelines, which will enter into force on 1 November 2018, have become available on  the EPO website in HTML form, in English, and are accessible via the following links:

As these new Guidelines will only enter into force on 1 November 2018 (OJ 2018, A73; OJ 2018, A74), these are NOT the applicable versions for the EQE 2019, for which the legal status on 31 October 2018 is the relevant date (OJ 2017, A88). The version in force on 31 October 2018 is the November 2017 version.

However, as several parts of the Guidelines of November 2017 have been superseded by subsequent changes to the legal provisions (ADA/AAD, creditcard payment, new EPO-WIPO agreement, and several more), candidates are advised to check the lists of amended sections in GL/EPO and GL/PCT-EPO and to update the corresponding sections in the November 2017 Guidelines, to prepare a consolidated version which reflects the legal status in 31 October 2018 form use in EQE 2019.


  1. Dear Roel,
    Thank you for the post. I need to ask why we do not use the November 2018 edition of the GL for Eqe 2019, instead of updating the changes between 1Nov2017 to 31Oct2018?
    I checked the table and there are too many changes to update. Whereas, I think, there is no change between 31Oct2018-1Nov2018.
    Is it because that some editorial changes and wording changes are important?
    Thank you.
    K. Mladenov

    1. Because of Rule 22(1) IPREE as amended by the Decision of 29 September 2017 of the Supervisory Board (OJ 2017, A88; https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2017/10/a88/2017-a88.pdf):

      Candidates are expected to be
      familiar with at least the following
      documents in the versions _valid as at
      31 October_ of the year prior to the preexamination
      or the examination: [...]

    2. ...and esp part F, G and H have many updates and new sections that are not based on OJs of the last two years, but are pure GL info - in view of Rule 22(1) IPREE, you should not use these new sections to answer the Qs.

    3. Thank you.
      The part "updates and new sections that are not based on OJs of the last two years, but are pure GL info" answers my question. I thought all changes in the GL somehow has to be based on the OJs. Now I see I was wrong.