Dr. Volker Jordan

EPO abolishes formalities regarding the designation of inventor

10.03.2021

Amendments to Rule 19 EPC, effective from April 1, 2021, will simplify the designation of inventor and abolish communications from the European Patent Office to designated inventors, which often led to additional official correspondence when a communication sent to an inventor was returned to the European Patent Office as undeliverable.

According to the amended version of Rule 19 EPC, former paragraphs (3) and (4) are deleted so that inventors will no longer be notified of their designation of inventor. Pursuant to amended paragraph (1), for designations of inventor filed or corrected on or after April 1, only the inventor's country of residence and place of residence needs to be indicated instead of a complete address. Rule 143 EPC has been amended accordingly so that from November 1, 2021, only the surname, first names, country of residence and place of residence of the designated inventor will be published.

In practice, however, under the previously valid Rule 19 EPC, the complete address of an inventor being indicated in the designation of inventor was often not his residential address but the address of the applicant as c/o address, in order to avoid queries from the European Patent Office as to the correct inventor's address in the event that the previous inventor's notification could not be delivered.

It is unclear whether this will still be possible in the future. However, it could be that the European Patent Office will continue to accept such information, since the correctness of the designation of inventor is not verified by the European Patent Office under the unchanged Rule 19(2) EPC.

In any case, since a lack of inventor designation under Rule 60 EPC can be made up for in response to a corresponding notification of the European Patent Office, there is no risk to the validity of a European patent application if the information in a designation of inventor filed on or after April 1 deviates from the information required according to Rule 19(1) EPC as amended. 

 

Contact:
Dipl.-Phys., Dr.-Ing. Volker Jordan, Patent Attorney, Partner
Weickmann & Weickmann, Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartmbB, München
Tel.: +49 (89) 45563 0 | E-Mail: vjordan@weickmann.de

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