A recent official note from the European Patent Office states that from 1 January 2022, the EPO will no longer automatically include certified copies of earlier Chinese, Korean, or US patent applications in the file free of charge. From that date on, applicants claiming priority from earlier patent applications in the said countries will be required to use the WIPO’s DAS system by supplying the DAS access code or file a certified copy of the priority document issued by the USPTO, KIPO, or CNIPA.
Currently, where priority was claimed from a previous patent application filed with the USPTO, KIPO, or CNIPA, the EPO included automatically and free of charge a copy of the previous application from which priority is claimed.
After the first of Januari 2022
The new rules apply to European patent applications filed with the EPO on or after 1 January 2022 and Euro-PCT applications entering the European phase on or after that date, that claim priority from a Chinese, Korean, or US patent application. Furthermore, it applies to any European patent applications or Euro-PCT applications claiming priority from Chinese, Korean, or US patent application for which the required priority document could not be included in the file of the application by 30 June 2023. (source: epo.org)
Are you an EPO applicant claiming priority from Chinese, Korean, and US patent applications? In case of any doubts, you should discuss with your European patent attorney from Bureau M.F.J. Bockstael whether this change has any impact on your application, contact us.