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Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated
25 November 2022 on the presentation of application and other documents

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.

The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), having regard to Article 10(2) of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and Rules 49(2), 50(2), 57(i) and 82(2) EPC, has decided as follows:

Article 1

Form and content of the drawings

(1) On sheets containing drawings, the
usable surface area shall not exceed 26.2 cm x 17 cm. The usable or used
surface shall not be surrounded by frames. The minimum margins shall be
as follows:

top 2.5 cm

left side 2.5 cm

right side 1.5 cm

bottom 1 cm

(2) Drawings shall be executed as follows:

(a) Drawings shall be executed without
colourings in durable, black, sufficiently dense and dark, uniformly
thick and well-defined lines and strokes.

(b) Cross-sections shall be indicated by
hatching which should not impede the clear reading of the reference
signs and leading lines.

(c) The scale of the drawings and their
graphical execution shall be such that electronic or photographic
reproduction with a linear reduction in size to two-thirds will allow
all details to be distinguished without difficulty. If, exceptionally,
the scale is given on a drawing, it shall be represented graphically.

(d) All numbers, letters, and reference
signs appearing on the drawings shall be simple and clear. Brackets,
circles or inverted commas shall not be used in association with numbers
and letters.

(e) Generally, all lines in the drawings shall be drawn with the aid of drafting instruments.

(f) Elements of the same figure shall be
proportional to one another, unless a difference in proportion is
indispensable for the clarity of the figure.

(g) The height of the numbers and letters
shall not be less than 0.32 cm. For the lettering of drawings, the Latin
and, where customary, the Greek alphabets shall be used.

(h) The same sheet of drawings may contain
several figures. Where figures drawn on two or more sheets are intended
to form a single figure, the figures on the several sheets shall be so
arranged that the whole figure can be assembled without concealing any
part of the partial figures. The different figures shall be arranged
without wasting space, preferably in an upright position, clearly
separated from one another. Where the figures are not arranged in an
upright position, they shall be presented sideways with the top of the
figures at the left side of the sheet. The different figures shall be
numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, independently of the
numbering of the sheets.

(i) Reference signs not mentioned in the
description and claims shall not appear in the drawings, and vice versa.
Reference signs to features shall be consistent throughout the

(j) The drawings shall not contain text
matter. Where indispensable to understand the drawings, a few short
keywords, such as “water”, “steam”, “open”, “closed” or “section on AB”,
may be included. Any such keywords shall be placed in such a way that,
if required, they can be replaced by their translations without
interfering with any lines of the drawings.

(3) Flow sheets and diagrams shall be deemed to be drawings.

Article 2

Presentation of the application documents

(1) The documents making up the application
shall be presented so as to allow electronic and direct reproduction, in
particular by scanning, photography, electrostatic processes, photo
offset and microfilming, in an unlimited number of copies. All sheets
shall be free from cracks, creases and folds. Only one side of the sheet
shall be used.

(2) The documents making up the application
shall be on A4 paper (29.7 cm x 21 cm) which shall be pliable, strong,
white, smooth, matt and durable. Subject to paragraph 8 and Article 1,
paragraph 2(h), each sheet shall be used with its short sides at the top
and bottom (upright position).

(3) Each of the documents making up the
application (request, description, claims, drawings and abstract) shall
commence on a new sheet. The sheets shall be connected in such a way
that they can easily be turned over, separated and joined together

(4) Subject to Article 1, paragraph 1, the minimum margins shall be as follows:

top 2 cm

left side 2.5 cm

right side 2 cm

bottom 2 cm

The recommended maximum for the margins quoted above is as follows:

top 4 cm

left side 4 cm

right side 3 cm

bottom 3 cm

(5) All the sheets contained in the
application shall be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals. These
shall be centred at the top of the sheet, but not placed in the top

(6) The lines of each sheet of the
description and of the claims shall preferably be numbered in sets of
five, the numbers appearing on the left side, to the right of the

(7) The request for grant of a European
patent, the description, the claims and the abstract shall be typed or
printed. Only graphic symbols and characters and chemical or
mathematical formulae may, if necessary, be drawn or written by hand.
The typing shall be 1½ spaced. All text matter shall be in characters,
the capital letters of which are not less than 0.21 cm high, and shall
be in a dark, indelible colour.

(8) The request for grant of a European
patent, the description, the claims and the abstract shall not contain
drawings. The description, claims and abstract may contain chemical or
mathematical formulae. The description and abstract may contain tables.
The claims may contain tables only if their subject-matter makes the use
of tables desirable. Tables and chemical or mathematical formulae may
be placed sideways on the sheet if they cannot be presented
satisfactorily in an upright position. Tables or chemical or
mathematical formulae presented sideways shall be placed so that the
tops of the tables or formulae are at the left-hand side of the sheet.

(9) Values shall be expressed in units
conforming to international standards, wherever appropriate in terms of
the metric system using SI units. Any data not meeting this requirement
shall also be expressed in units conforming to international standards.
Only the technical terms, formulae, signs and symbols generally accepted
in the field in question shall be used.

(10) The terminology and the signs shall be consistent throughout the European patent application.

(11) Each sheet shall be reasonably free
from erasures and shall be free from alterations. Non-compliance with
this rule may be authorised if the authenticity of the content is not
impugned and the requirements for good reproduction are not thereby

Article 3

Documents other than the application documents

All documents other than those making up the
application shall generally be typewritten or printed. There shall be a
margin of about 2.5 cm on the left-hand side of each page.

Article 4

Examination as to formal requirements

(1) The EPO shall examine, in accordance with Article 90(3) EPC and Rule 57(i) EPC, whether the requirements of Articles 1 and 2 of this decision have been complied with.

(2) The Receiving Section shall examine whether the following requirements of this decision have been complied with:

  •  Article 1, paragraph 1 and paragraph 2(a) to (h),
  •  Article 2, paragraphs 1 to 7,
  •  Article 2, paragraph 8, sentences 1 to 3, 5 and 6 and
  •  Article 2, paragraph 11.

(3) Any examination by the EPO of the
requirements listed in paragraph 2 of this Article shall be limited to
the extent necessary for the purpose of a satisfactory reproduction or a
reasonably uniform publication of the application under Rule 68(1) EPC.

Article 5

Maintenance of the European patent in amended form

The applicable requirements under Rule 82(2), third sentence, EPC shall be the requirements of Article 2, paragraph 7, of this decision.

Article 6

Entry into force

This decision shall enter into force on
1 February 2023 and apply to all application and other documents filed
on or after this date.

Done at Munich, 25 November 2022