The requirement of Rule 49(8), that the description, claims and abstract, as well as the request for grant, must be typed or printed extends to documents replacing application documents and to amended patent specification documents (Rules 50(1) and Rule 86). This applies to documents submitted during oral proceedings as well.
Responsibility for formally correct submissions and, in particular, for compliance with Rule 49(8) lies with the applicant/proprietor.
In order to assist the parties, including parties using their own laptops or other electronic devices, in such circumstances, the EPOOffice provides technical facilities that allow for compliance with the formal requirements, in particular computers equipped with a word processor and a printer, network printers and copiers enabling documents to be printed from a USB stick, and internet access in public areas via a public wireless network (see OJ EPO 2013, 603).
It is recommended that parties bring electronic copies of documents likely to be amended, on a medium free of computer viruses or malware.
Published patent applications and specifications are made available via the European publication server.
Whereas the formal requirements of Rule 49 apply to documents submitted during oral proceedings as well, documents containing handwritten amendments will normally be accepted by the division as a basis for discussion during oral proceedings until agreement is reached on the final text of the patent. A final decision granting a patent or maintaining it in amended form may be taken only on the basis of a document which is not formally deficient.
If the applicant or the patent proprietor is unable to provide formally correct amendments during oral proceedings, the following applies: