1.3 Filing of applications in electronic form

European patent applications and international (PCT) applications may be filed with the EPO in electronic form either online or on electronic data carriers (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 26 February 2009, OJ EPO 2009, 182). At present, the data carriers permitted are CD-R as per ISO 9660 and DVD-R or DVD+R (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, A.5). Documents making up a European or an international patent application in electronic form must be prepared using either the EPO Online Filing software or the PaTrAS software, both of which include the Request for Grant Form, unless the use of other software is permitted (see Art. 5 of the Decision of the President dated 26 February 2009, OJ EPO 2009, 182, Art. 2 of the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, A.5, and the Notice from the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, A.6).

Other documents may also be filed electronically in grant, opposition, limitation, revocation and appeal proceedings (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 26 February 2009, OJ EPO 2009, 182, with particular reference to Art. 8(2) thereof, which sets out the requirement for confirmation of the authenticity of documents filed in appeal proceedings by means of an enhanced electronic signature, see also A‑VIII, 2.5).

European patent applications and international applications, as well as other documents relating to such applications, may also be filed using the EPO case management system (see Decision of the President dated 10 September 2014, OJ EPO 2014, A97), also referred to as “new online filing (CMS)”, and the EPO web-form filing service (see Decision of the President dated 10 September 2014, OJ EPO 2014, A98).

European patent applications may also be filed in electronic form with the competent national authorities of those Contracting States which so permit.

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