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Note that these rules went into effect on May 22, 2017.

 

For A-stage EP documents, legal status is calculated as for any other authority, with the possible values being "Pending", "Abandoned", "Withdrawn", or "Granted".

For granted EP documents, an overall status of "Active", "Expired - Lifetime", "Expired - Fee Related", "Withdrawn", "Withdrawn - After Issue", "Revoked", "Ceased", or the more generic "Not-in-force" is created, using the Inpadoc legal status events. The status is calculated in one of three ways, illustrated below. In each case, the Designated States status is reported in only two generic categories: "In-force" or "Not-in-force".

Case 1

When a patent has reached its full term, the status "Expired – Lifetime" will appear at the EP level. Designated States will all be listed with a status of "Not-in-force".

<ifi-patent-status anticipated-expiration="20150606">
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="EP">Expired - Lifetime</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="DE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="FR">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="GB">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
 </ifi-patent-status>

The "Not-in-force" status in this case might result from a fee-related expiration, a lifetime expiration, or another event that terminated coverage in that Designated State.

 

Case 2

When there is a legal status event affecting the EP filing across all authorities (e.g., patent is "Withdrawn", "Revoked", or "Refused"), that status will be displayed at the EP level. Designated States will all be listed with a status of "Not-in-force".

For example:

<ifi-patent-status anticipated-expiration="20300904">
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="EP">Revoked</ifi-patent-status-description>
	<ifi-patent-status-description country="DE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  	<ifi-patent-status-description country="FR">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
 	<ifi-patent-status-description country="GB">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description> 
 </ifi-patent-status>

In this case, the action at the EP level determines the status in all Designated States, even those where a prior canceling event may have occurred in one or more of the Designated States.

 

Case 3

During the lifetime of granted EP patents, an individual status is calculated for each Designated State, with a default status of "Active" when no event affecting the current status is present. Based on the individual country-by-country status, an overall status is calculated, which is present with an attribute of “EP”. The status at the EP level will be "Active" if any of the Designated States have been calculated as active. The Designated States are individually reported as "In-force" or "Not-in-force".

       

Case 3.1

If all of the Designated States have the same status (e.g., "Expired - Fee Related", "Active", etc.), the status at the EP level will be that status common to all Designated States.  

For example:

<ifi-patent-status anticipated-expiration="20231017">
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="EP">Expired - Fee Related</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="DE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="FR">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="GB">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
</ifi-patent-status>

 

or, similarly, if all Designated States are active:

<ifi-patent-status anticipated-expiration="20231017">
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="EP">Active</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="DE">In-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="FR">In-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="GB">In-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
</ifi-patent-status>

 

 

Case 3.2

When a mix of only non-active statuses ("Expired - Fee Related", "Ceased", "Revoked") occurs among the Designated States, we use a generic "Not-in-force" status at the EP level as well as for the Designated States.

For example:

<ifi-patent-status anticipated-expiration="20220110">
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="EP">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="DE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="GB">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
</ifi-patent-status>

Note: If any one Designated State has a status of "In-force", the EP-level status will be "Active".

 

Case 3.3 (Special impact of the default status being "Active")

The following example (EP-1777190-B1) illustrates the use of the default "Active" status in a record whose Designated States include a single country with no status reported. The EP in this example has expired in all jurisdictions except HK, but since there is no notice from Hong Kong through the Inpadoc legal status service, we are showing the patent as "In-force" in HK, and therefore "Active" at the EP level.

For example:

<ifi-patent-status anticipated-expiration="20261009">
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="EP">Active</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="AT">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="BE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="BG">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="CH">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="CY">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="CZ">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="DE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="DK">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="EE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>  
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="ES">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>  
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="FI">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="FR">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="GB">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="GR">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="HK">In-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="HU">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="IE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="IS">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="IT">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="LI">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="LT">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="LU">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="LV">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="MC">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="NL">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="PL">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="PT">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="RO">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="SE">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="SI">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="SK">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
  <ifi-patent-status-description country="TR">Not-in-force</ifi-patent-status-description>
 <ifi-term-extension/>
</ifi-patent-status>

Note: Detailed information about Inpadoc legal status data and coverage can be found at https://www.epo.org/searching-for-patents/helpful-resources/data/tables/weekly.html.

 

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