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Guide for applicants, Part 1: How to get a European patent

 
 
How to file
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You must file applications in written form, i.e. in electronic form, in person, by post or by fax.
You can file European patent applications in electronic form, online or on an electronic data carrier, using the software issued by the EPO (Online filing software; www.epo.org).
OJ 2009, 182
OJ 2012, 448
OJ 2007, Special edition No. 3, A.3, A.5
Additionally, you may file your European patent application using the EPO case management system (CMS) or the web-form filing (WFF) service provided free of charge on the EPO website.
If the application is filed online at the EPO, the original quality of the documents is maintained. If it is filed on paper by post or especially by fax, the quality of the documents may be reduced, leading to a requirement for the applicant to file replacement documents of better quality.
On the EPO website you will find more information regarding the other online services provided by the EPO and their advantages, such as Online Ffee pPayment, Secure File Inspection, European Publication Server, My Files, Secure File Inspection and Mailbox.
You can also file European patent applications in electronic form with the competent national authorities of the contracting states which so permit. For applications filed online either with the EPO or with a competent national authority the filing fee is reduced. 
National law relating to the EPC, 16th edition
You cannot yet file European patent applications with the EPO by e-mail, telegram, telex or teletext.
OJ 2000, 458
OJ 2012, 486
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You can file by fax with the EPO, and with the competent national authorities of those contracting states which so permit. , namely – at present – Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (GR), Iceland (IS), Ireland (IE), Liechtenstein (LI), Luxembourg (LU), Monaco (MC), Norway (NO), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), San Marino (SM), Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SI), Spain (ES), Sweden (SE), Switzerland (CH) and United Kingdom (GB). For further details, see the latest version of the brochure "National lLaw relating to the EPC".
OJ 2007, Special edition No. 3, A.3
National law relating to the EPC, 16th edition
108
As the EPO uses an automatic scanner system to capture European patent applications for printing, you are urged to use a machine-readable typeface for your applications.
OJ 1993, 59