Online Filing: features & benefits

You can use the Online Filing software to file the following applications and documents with the EPO:

  • EP, Euro-PCT and PCT applications
  • submissions in opposition, appeal, limitation and revocation proceedings
  • subsequently filed documents for all EP proceedings.

You can also use it to file the following with participating national offices:

  • EP and PCT applications
  • national applications and other documents in national procedures.

You can file using

  • the software itself
  • the software's PMS interface, which allows you to file straight from your own patent management system.

Features

With Online Filing you can

  • fill in patent application forms directly on your PC
  • attach specifications in PDF format or in XML (using PatXML)
  • validate, sign and send applications direct from your patent management system via a special PMS interface
  • contribute to the development of Online Filing via the Open Source project

Benefits

The key benefits of Online Filing are:

Security

  • 128-bit encryption
  • PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) technology
  • Smart card with two certificates plus 8-digit PIN code
  • SSL (secure socket layer) connection

Reliability

  • Internet-based end-to-end SSL connection ensures that what is sent is what is received

Capacity

  • Large attachments (up to 50 000 pages) possible
  • Optional CD-R filing for mega-applications

Efficiency

  • Full electronic handling of filings
  • Savings in time (for example by importing data from existing address books or sent applications, or by sending applications direct from your PMS)
  • Reduction in clerical and administrative work
  • Decrease in paper-handling costs

Speed

  • Instant issue of receipt, showing date and application number

User-friendliness

  • Transfer of data from existing applications to subsequent applications, for example from EP(1001E2K) to EP(1038E) or from PCT/RO/101 to Euro-PCT(1200E2K)
  • Compatibility with new MS Vista SP1 operating system
  • Subsequently Filed Documents plug-in available
  • Many national plug-ins available in the software
  • Choice of network or stand-alone version (does not apply to Vista SP1)
  • Management of distinct user profiles possible
  • Live Update service updates the software at chosen intervals
  • Easy address book import and export in CSV format

Reduced fees

  • EUR 80 reduction in filing fee for European patent applications EP(1001E2K) and requests for entry into the European phase EP(1200E2K) filed online
  • CHF 200 reduction in international filing fee if description, claims and abstract are filed in PDF
  • CHF 300 reduction in international filing fee if description, claims and abstract are filed in XML

Draft once, file anywhere

Depending on your requirements, you can file PCT applications using either WIPO's PCT-SAFE software or the EPO's Online Filing software.

Working in close co-operation with the Trilateral Offices (EPO, JPO and USPTO), on 7 January 2002 WIPO issued modified Administrative Instructions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (addition of Part 7 and Annex F) to establish the legal framework and the technical standard required to implement the electronic filing and processing of international applications under the PCT and at the same time to pave the way for a PCT version of Online Filing (E-PCT), with a view to creating compatible systems allowing the online filing of PCT applications.

On 1 November 2002, the EPO expanded its Online Services to enable PCT electronic filing for European applicants wishing to use the EPO as receiving Office. This software also allows the filing of EP and Euro-PCT applications.

In the same month, WIPO started pilot testing its PCT-SAFE system for electronic filing under the PCT. With the International Bureau as receiving Office, the system was launched for pilot programme users on 25 August 2003 and for all PCT applicants on 12 February 2004.

As a result of this co-operation between the Trilateral Offices and WIPO, users can now file applications with different receiving Offices, using compatible software (such as the EPO's Online Filing software or WIPO's PCT-SAFE).

 

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