Quick help answers

How many search terms can I enter per field?

The maximum number of search terms per field is ten. All you have to do is enter your search terms separated by a space or the appropriate operator.


Can I use truncation?

You can use wildcards to expand your search to include, for example, the plural forms of a word. The following three wildcard characters are available: * ? #.


How do I enter an EP application/publication number?

The EP application number is made up of the EP country code (two letters) and a serial number. EP application numbers can be entered with either two or four digits for the year. EP publication numbers are made up of the EP country code (two letters) and a serial number (a sequence of seven digits). You can enter the number with or without a country code.


How do I enter a WO (PCT) application/publication number?

The format for the PCT application number in the European Patent Register consists of the country code WO followed by the year of filing (four digits), the country code of the country where the application was filed (two characters) and a serial number (five digits) adding up to a fixed length of thirteen characters. There are three different PCT publication number formats. The single format WOYYYYnnnnnn is made up of the WO country code (two letters), the year (four digits) and a serial number (six digits) and applies to all PCT publications.


What are the valid date formats?

A date can be entered in one of the following formats: yyyymmdd, yyyy-mm-dd, dd/mm/yyyy or dd.mm.yyyy.


Can I enter a date range for my search?

Yes. A date range can be entered in the publication date field in Advanced search and Smart search. Searching within date ranges is not possible for the Priority-, Filing- or Grant date fields.


How do I enter the name of a person or an organisation?

The format for a person is made up of the surname followed by the first name(s). The format for an organisation is made up of all the words comprising the name of that organisation. You can search for up to a maximum of ten words.


How can I find out if an opposition was filed in a specific technical field?

You can search for oppositions filed in a specific technical field by entering the relevant IPC symbol in the "International Patent Classification (IPC)" search field and the code 01 in the "Opponent" search field.


How do I enter an International Patent Classification (IPC) symbol?

The classification symbol is made up of a letter denoting the IPC section (e.g. H), followed by a number (two digits) denoting the IPC class (e.g. H02), still followed by a letter denoting the IPC subclass (e.g. H02M). A number (variable, one to three digits) denotes the IPC main group (e.g. H02M7), a forward slash "/", and a number (variable, one to three digits) denotes the IPC subgroup (e.g. H02M7/537).


How do I enter keywords in the title?

Within the title field, you can search in English, French or German for words (up to a maximum of ten) separated by a space or the appropriate operator. Diacritical characters (umlaut, accents and the like) are ignored. You can also search for a phrase using quotation marks (e.g. "bicycle frame").


How do I enter an appeal case number?

Enter the appeal case number using a combination made up of a letter for the type of decision, then a four-digit sequential number, followed by another two digits representing the year, e.g. you can enter either T0500 or T0500 13.


What does "Open recent" mean?

You can click on "Open recent" to select one of the files you looked at or searches you performed earlier. Recent files and searches are lost once you close your browser window.