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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
2.6
Use of e-mail 

At present, e-mail has no legal force in proceedings under the EPC and thus cannot be used to validly perform any procedural act and, in particular, cannot be used to comply with time limits (see OJ EPO 2000, 458 and A-VIII, 2.5, in connection with Rule 2 and Rule 127).

As an exception, documents filed subsequently as referred to in Rule 50 (other than authorisations) may be filed by e-mail where interviews and oral proceedings before the Examining Division are held as a video-conference (for details, in particular on signature and format of attachments, see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 20 April 2012, OJ EPO 2012, 348, and E-II, 11.3.2).

The above OJ notice and decision of the President also stresses the importance of ensuring that any exchange of information is duly documented on file and that confidentiality issues should be carefully considered.