There has been a recent change to Rule 19 EPC which concerns inventorship information required by the EPO. The notice from the official journal is here.
Following the entry into force of amended Rule 19 EPC on 1 April 2021:
- inventors will no longer be notified by the EPO about their designation.
- applicants will no longer be required to indicate the full address of the inventor in the application, only the country and place of residence.
The place of residence is defined by the EPO as “the city or other municipality where the inventor permanently resides, and includes the postal code (where available).” The postcode or zip-code can also be submitted but this is optional.
Following the entry into force of amended Rule 143 EPC on 1 November 2021, the full addresses of inventors will no longer be published in the European Patent Register. The option afforded to inventors under Rule 20(1) EPC to waive their right to be mentioned remains unaffected by these changes.
The above changes mean that we will no longer receive Form 1117 from the EPO requesting the inventor’s address, so you will no longer receive these from us.
However, we may still request full inventor addresses where this is necessary, e.g. for use in patent applications to be filed in other jurisdictions.
What changes will I notice?
You may notice when you receive filing documents from us that the inventor address section now only contains the name, place of residence, postcode (or zip-code) and country. This is correct under the new rules. Even if we submit full address details, the EPO software will only retain the required information (name, place of residence. postcode (or zip-code) and country).
Can I still file full inventor address information at the EPO and what happens to the information?
Yes, but it is unnecessary. If you do provide the information, it will still be accepted by the EPO and, for the time being, it will be recorded on the EPO register. From 1 November 2021 “full” inventor address information will be purged from the EPO register but the documents containing the information will be still be available.
What if we do not file inventorship information?
If we do not file inventorship information, or the country or place of residence is missing from the information we supply to the EPO, then we should still expect to receive an official communication from the EPO.
Sign up to our newsletter: Forward - news, insights and features
We have an easily-accessible office in central London, as well as a number of regional offices throughout the UK and an office in Munich, Germany. We’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch.