European Patent Register

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The European Patent Register, formerly known as Register Plus, is the official register of legal status information for the European Patent Office. The service provides procedural and legal data on EP, Euro-PCT and PCT-filings. All publicly available information on European patent applications as they go through the examination and grant procedure will be available through this site, including application status, renewal fee payment status, designated states, and more.

The new interface includes a SmartSearch form, where users can enter search terms that the system will automatically assign to certain fields, based on the format of the term. When a user chooses to view the full record of a search result, they are taken to the "About this File" section of the document record. Users can navigate through the document sections using a small menu in the upper left of the page. The menu lists the following sections:

  • About this file
  • Legal status
  • Event history
  • Citations
  • Patent family
  • All documents

From the full record view, users can also refine their search, download the file to XML or ST36 formats, view the record on Espacenet, report an error, or print the section. In the "All documents" section, users can select some or all listed documents and download them into a single PDF by clicking on "Selected documents" at the top of the page.

The service is free and can be accessed at any time (although access was once restricted to the EPO's business hours, the system has been upgraded to be available at anytime on the web).

A related service offered by the EPO, Register Alert (formerly known as WebRegMT), allows users to monitor up to 1,000 cases for any changes, and will send users e-mail alerts to notify them of any changes in status.

Major Recent Updates

December 2013 - According to the Release Notes for December 2013, the following updates have been added to the European Patent Register:[1]

  • Now in the All documents panel view you can download a Zip Archive of all the documents included in that particular file; each document is provided as a separate PDF.
  • Check digit search is now possible for EP application numbers: Now you can search for EP application numbers including the check digit (digit preceded by a decimal after the eight digits of the application number) in Smart, Quick or Advanced search.
  • Access to EP documents in PDF published in the EPO's official platform, the European publication server, between 1978-2004, is now provided. Links to these documents are available in the Publication section of the About this file page.
  • In the Status section of the About this file page, when proceedings are closed due to consolidation with another patent, now there will be a link to the application that was consolidated and which pertains to the event, "Proceedings closed following consolidation with [application number]".
  • When searching for a company, a key word or any other parameter, now you can subscribe to an RSS feed in the “Search results” page that helps you keep track of new applications that contain your search criteria.
  • Now you can subscribe to the RSS feed to keep track of when new documents for a particular application become available in the table of contents provided in the “All documents” panel view.
  • Updated and expanded help documentation: Information about the European Patent Register legal events now can be viewed in the Register documentation page, and in the Help page you can find now information about the most important legal events that can occur to a patent application. Via this new page you can download a complete list using the Events (XML) link.
  • Download search results - Now it is possible to download your search results as either a CSV or an XLS file. Note download limit is 20 records. This could require downloading more than one file to obtain a complete set of your search results
  • Register Alert e-mail notifications now will include the contracting state(s) where the lapse occurred and the title of the application that is being monitored.

July 2013 - According to the Release Notes for July 2013, the following updates have been added to the European Patent Register:[2]

  • The URL to the EP Register has been updated to: https://register.epo.org/. Your bookmarks containing '/espacenet/' will be redirected until January 2014, after which they will become invalid.
  • RSS feeds are now available for EP Register Maintenance news and News flashes.
  • A new link to the European patent bulletin has been added to the online services menu.
  • In the "About this file" view, under "Publications," A1 applications published by WIPO are now linked to the contents of the European publication server in the Result list.
  • Also in the "About this file" view, additional data is available:
    • A new section "Appeal following opposition."
    • Under the section "Examination procedure" as well as in the "Event history" view, you will now find information about the "Request for correction of the decision to grant filed."
  • In the "Legal status" view, there are now tooltip labels indicating the national patent office for each deep link.
  • As in the "All documents" view, you can now sort contents by date in either ascending (default) or descending order in the "Event history" view.

The following updates have been added to Register Alert:

  • For your monitored applications, you can now change their status to Seen (white dot) or Unseen (black dot) by simply clicking directly on the icon.
  • When you click "Report error", you will be redirected to a contact form with the topic, subject and application number pre-filled.
  • In the case of Euro-PCT applications, you will now get a message notifying you that an application is already in your monitored list.


December 2012 - According to Issue 4/2012 of the Patent Information News:[3]

On 11 October, Germany became the 20th country to enable deep-linking from the EPO Patent Register to its own national register. On 26 November, after this article was written, deep-links were also launched for Slovakia.

The following improvements were added to the European Patent Register in December 2012:[4]

  • Field sets are now used for "Quick search" and "Advanced Search."
  • The message "deleted" and a history is available in the section "Rights in Rem or Legal Means of Execution" for particular applications.
  • In the search results, the amount of IPC symbols displayed is now limited to three, consequently reducing the space for each list item. More than three symbols will be displayed below them with a plus sign (+) and the amount of additional IPC symbols.
  • Improved readability and visual contrast (better for screenshots and printing) by replacing the dark grey text with black.
  • Now when adding or deleting an application in the monitored list the scroll position of the screen does not change.
  • The tooltip for a username is now available.
  • The printing list of monitored applications displays now the total amount of monitored files.

September 2012 - According to Issue 3/2012 of the Patent Information News:[5]

  • Anyone with a user name and password can now set up their alerts in the European Patent Register. The change means that smart card users have to migrate to access via a user name and password. Any users experiencing problems with the migration process can contact the EPO for assistance at support@epo.org.
  • For some time, the EPO has been working on ways to link from its Register to national patent registers, direct to the particular record concerned. By April 2012, eleven countries were connected in this way. The implementation of "flexible" deep linking in the latest release will make it possible to retrieve register information from the national offices and move towards a true "Federated Patent Register" in Europe. One immediate effect is that linking is now available for seven further countries: Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia. For all eighteen countries with deep linking, users can now verify the legal status of EP patents in their national phase at the source, without having to work their way through the national offices' websites.
  • Learn how to use the Register and Register Alert with the recently launched Register assistant e-learning tool.

July 2012 - According to the Patent Information News Issue 2, 2012:[6]

The next release of the European Patent Register will be in July 2012. The key new feature will be the integration of Register Alert into the European Patent Register. This will allow users to set up their personal profiles and user accounts and select files to monitor – all at the point of use – inside the European Patent Register.

IMPORTANT: After the integration, users currently accessing Register Alert with smart cards will need a user ID and password to log in to Register Alert. Other uses of smart card authentication are not affected.

April 2012 - The EPO website lists the following new features for the European Patent Register:[7]

  • New Deep links to the Belgian, Finnish and Norwegian Registers have been added
  • The processing of pre-dated EPO's communications has been enhanced and notifications of these communications will be hidden until actually sent.
  • New Rules 71 and 71a EPC, history of communications of the intention to grant a patent and of the disapproval(s) by the applicant.
  • Withdrawal during International Phase.
  • Dispatch and payment of additional claims after amendments/corrections.
  • Invitation to provide Supplementary International Search Report and its reply.
  • Invitation to provide information on prior art and its reply.
  • Index for the EP Register Help.

Sources

  1. "Release notes December 2013." EPO website, http://www.epo.org/searching/free/register/20131203.html. Accessed January 14, 2014.
  2. "Release notes July 2013." EPO website, http://www.epo.org/searching/free/register/20130107.html. Accessed July 24, 2013.
  3. "Patent Information News." Issue 4/2012. EPO website, http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/2B324DE25524A5ACC1257AD4002EBC84/$File/Patentinfo_News_0412_en.pdf. Accessed January 10, 2013.
  4. "Release notes December 2012." EPO website, http://www.epo.org/searching/free/register/20121205.html. Accessed January 10, 2013.
  5. "Patent Information News." Issue 3/2012. EPO website, http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/AE0D8972A8253AFDC1257A7F0031339E/$File/Patentinfo_News_0312_en.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.
  6. "Patent Information News Issue 2, 2012." EPO website, http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/4393D8767377FAF8C1257A24003F8C93/$File/Patentinfo_News_0212_en.pdf. Accessed July 1, 2012.
  7. "Release notes April 2012." EPO website, http://www.epo.org/searching/free/register/april2012.html (link no longer available). Accessed May 7, 2012.

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