4 August 2023
The EPO will no longer send out EPO Form 1201 as of 1 November 2023. Currently, where the EPO is selected as designated or elected Office, it sends it during the international phase to inform European professional representatives, international agents and applicants of the steps to take to enter the European phase. Instead, all relevant information will be available in a dedicated section on the epo.org website.
As a result applicants, in particular those not wishing to enter the European phase, will no longer have to handle this communication. The change is also another milestone towards a digital and paperless patent grant process.
Form 1201 currently also specifies the European application number allocated to the international application. Applicants will be able to find this number in the following ways:
- If EPO Form 1200 is filed using one of the EPO’s online filing services, it will be included on the acknowledgement of receipt.
- Once the international application is published, it can also be retrieved via the European Patent Register by entering the international application or publication number.
As Form 1201 is almost always sent on paper, discontinuing it will save over 500 000 sheets of paper annually. This is another important step towards the EPO’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 and helps simplify EPO procedures.
For further details on the discontinuation of Form 1201, see the Official Journal (OJ EPO 2023, A66).