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European Patent Office abolishes the ‘10-day rule’

The European Patent Office (EPO) recently announced “a new package of rule changes intended to adapt the rules of the European Patent Court (EPC) to the digital age”. The package includes the abolishment of the '10-day rule’.

What is the ‘10-day rule’?

The 10-day rule controls the fiction that official communications sent by registered letter from the EPO are deemed to have been delivered to the recipient 10 days after the date of the communication, regardless of the actual delivery. Deadlines are calculated from this later date, rather than the date of the communication.


When is the ‘10-day rule’ changing?

From November 1, 2023, the 10-day-rule will be abolished by the EPO. From this date, all newly issued EPO communications will be deemed to be delivered on the date shown on the communication, and deadlines will therefore be calculated from the date shown on the communication.

Note that all communications dated on or before October 31, 2023, will still be deemed to have been received 10 days after the date shown on the communication itself.

What does this mean for you?

Vriesendorp & Gaade has always communicated any deadlines without the 10-day rule applied. In this manner, the additional 10 days could still be used as a safety net in case of late instructions. This safety net is no longer available. Hence, the importance of timely instructions has increased. You can however trust us to duly remind you of any approaching deadlines.