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EPO postal grace period to end in 2023

The European Patent Office will abolish the 10 day postal grace period for EPO deadlines, starting from 1 November 2023.

Currently, the 10 day grace period applies to many (but not all) of the deadlines encountered during the European patenting process. It allows applicants to respond to the EPO within a period of roughly 10 days after the deadline expires. However, the final deadline including the grace period is not always obvious to applicants. While getting rid of the grace period will make time limits a little tighter, it will improve certainty about EPO deadlines.

The other existing ways of extending deadlines, such as further processing and allowances for documents not being received, will be unaffected by this change.

At MSK, we already work to the initial deadlines set by the EPO and we rarely make use of the postal grace period, so the new regime will not change our practice. We will be reviewing the timing of our reporting and reminder letters to reduce the impact of this change on our clients.

Please feel free to get in touch with us at if you have any questions about the end of postal grace periods at the EPO.

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