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Notice from the European Patent Office dated 22 September 2017
concerning the situation in the USA, the Caribbean and Mexico after the
hurricanes and earthquakes between 23 August and 21 September 2017

This text is intended for publication in the
Official Journal (OJ) of the EPO. It is made available in advance on
the EPO website merely as a courtesy to the public. Only the text
subsequently published in the officially certified PDF file of the OJ is
authentic. It cannot be guaranteed that this advance version accurately
replicates that text.

1. In view of the current tragic events in
the USA, the Caribbean and Mexico, attention is drawn to the general
legal remedies provided under the European Patent Convention in case of
non-observance of time limits and, more specifically, to
Rule 134(5) EPC.

2. Rule 134(5) EPC
offers a safeguard in case of non-observance of a time limit due to an
exceptional occurrence such as a natural disaster or other like reasons
affecting the locality where the party or his representative resides or
has his place of business. This provision may therefore be invoked by
any applicants, parties to proceedings or their representatives affected
by the natural and technical disasters in the USA, the Caribbean and in

3. Pursuant to Rule 134(5) EPC,
any document received late will be deemed to have been received in due
time if the person concerned offers evidence that on any of the ten days
preceding the day of expiry of a time limit the mail service was
dislocated on account of the effects of this natural or technical
disaster, and that the mailing was effected within five days after the
mail service was resumed.

4. As for time limits and conditions applicable under the PCT, applicants are referred to Rule 82quater PCT.
This provision applies to international applications pending in the
international phase. However, it does not apply to the priority period.
Nevertheless, if an international application is received at the EPO
after expiry of the priority period, restoration of the right of
priority pursuant to Rule 26bis.3 PCT may be available.

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