EPO: Accelerated prosecution of applications – the “PACE” programme 441

An effective request for early processing causes prosecution of the application by the EPO as designated/elected Office to be taken up before expiry of the 31-month time limit. In addition to the possibility of requesting early processing, the applicant may want accelerated prosecution of his application in the European phase. For this purpose, a separate request under the PACE programme is to be submitted upon entry into the European phase or later (EPO Form 1005). Depending on the time when the request is submitted and the indications made in the form, accelerated prosecution may cover the formalities examination, the establishment of the supplementary European search report, where such a report is to be drawn up (see points 567 ff), and/or substantive examination

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