Third party observation

Legal basis

The comments of third parties are provided in the article L612-13 CPI, paragraph 3.

Identification of the observer

There does not seem to be any obligation to identify the observer.


The third party may submit an observation as from the publication of the patent application (L612-13 CPIparagraph 3) and for a period of 3 months after the publication of the RRP (R612-63 CPI paragraph 1, together R612-62 CPI).

If an observation is submitted after the deadline, it must be declared inadmissible (R612-65 CPI).

Content and form

The observation of third parties must be presented in two copies (R612-63 CPI paragraph (2) and shall (R612-63 CPI together R612-57 CPI) especially :

  • cite the relevant documents;
  • cite the relevant passages of the documents (page, column, line or figure) with reference to the claims;
  • contain an opinion concerning patentability within the meaning of Articles L611-11 CPI and L611-14 CPI (L612-13 CPIparagraph 3).

The documents quoted must be attached (R612-63 CPI) except in the case of patents (nevertheless, foreign patents may be requested by the INPI and the applicant then 2 months) to produce them).

Applicant response

If the observation of third parties is transmitted to the applicant, he may respond to it within a period of 3 months renewable once 3 months (but he is not obliged, R612-64 CPI).

This response may consist of observations and / or new claims (R612-64 CPI).

INPI reaction

If the observation of third parties reveals a document obviously affecting the novelty of the claimed invention, the INPI draws up a preliminary preliminary search report (INPI Examination Guidelines, IC IX).


  1. Hello,

    With regard to the period for filing a third party observation in the context of a French application, it seems to me that the window opens at the time of publication of the application and closes three months after the publication of the search report. (R612-63 + R612-62), which may be different from the date of publication of the application + three months.

    And thank you for your site, a must for many CEIPI students.

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