Accelerated Search and Examination at the EPO
A request under PACE can be filed at the EPO if an Applicant wishes to accelerate the Search or the Examination stage of a European patent application. The request process is relatively simple and can be filed at any time online using EPO Form 1005. There is no Official Fee for PACE entry.
A request can be filed only once during the Search stage and only once during the Examination stage.
On acceptance of a PACE request during the Search stage, the EPO will make every effort to issue the search report within six months of the request, with certain provisos.
On acceptance of a PACE request during the Examination stage, the EPO will make every effort to issue the next examination report within three months of the request and will endeavour to provide subsequent reports within three months of the Applicant’s reply.
An application will be removed from PACE if an extension of time is requested or if an application is withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn. An Applicant can also withdraw a PACE request. If removed, it is not possible to re-enter during the same stage.
A link to the Notice from the EPO dated 30 November 2015 concerning PACE can be found here