Since 1 July 2015, the EPO has offered applicants the option to expressly waiving their right to receive a further communication under Rule 71(6) EPC. The waiver option was introduced to accelerate the proceedings.
Such waiver has been usually filed in cases where only minor amendments were introduced by the applicant in the text intended to grant.
The EPO has now decided to abolish the waiver option. The EPO will thus no longer process waivers, which are filed in response to a communication dated on or after 1 July 2020.
The abolition of the option to waive the right to a further communication under Rule 71(3) EPC has no significant impact on the prosecution proceedings, since the EPO confirmed that they would immediately initiate the preparation for publication of the patent specification once applicant complied with all requirements for the grant of a patent. No significant delay of the grant is thus to be expected.
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