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Guidelines for Examination


2.5 Filing of subsequent documents

After a European patent application has been filed, documents as referred to in Rule 50 may be filed online, by delivery by hand or by post or, with the exception of authorisations and priority documents, may be filed by fax at the EPO's filing offices (see A‑II, 1.2). Such documents may not be filed on diskette, by e-mail, telegram, telex or similar means (see also the Notice dated 12 September 2000 concerning correspondence with the Office via e-mail, OJ EPO 2000, 458). However, where interviews and oral proceedings before an Examining Division are held as a video-conference, documents filed subsequently as referred to in Rule 50 during the video-conference may be filed by e-mail, with the exception of authorisations. The details and conditions of such filings are laid down in the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 20 April 2012, OJ EPO 2012, 348. If documents relating to European patent applications are filed by fax, written confirmation reproducing the contents of the documents filed by these means and complying with the requirements of the Implementing Regulations to the EPC must be supplied on invitation from the EPO within a period of two months. If the applicant fails to comply with this request in due time, the fax is deemed not to have been received (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, A.3).

Written confirmation is required if the documents so communicated are of inferior quality.

If in a fax a party avails himself of Art. 14(4), the subsequent copy must be filed in the same language as the fax, in which case the copy is deemed to have been received on the date of filing of the fax. The period under Rule 6(2) for filing the translation under Art. 14(4) begins on the day following the date of filing of the fax.

For the filing of subsequent documents in electronic form, either online or on electronic data carriers, see additionally A‑II, 1.3, 2nd paragraph, and 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.