Official Journal February 2015

Citation: A17
Online publication date: 28.2.2015

ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL

Decision of the Administrative Council of 15 October 2014 amending Rules 2, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 133 and 134 of the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention (CA/D 6/14)

THE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT ORGANISATION,

Having regard to the European Patent Convention (hereinafter referred to as "EPC") and in particular Article 33(1)(c) thereof,

On a proposal from the President of the European Patent Office,

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Patent Law,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

The Implementing Regulations to the EPC shall be amended as follows:

Rule 2(1) shall read as follows:

"(1) In proceedings before the European Patent Office, documents may be filed by delivery by hand, by postal services or by means of electronic communication. The President of the European Patent Office shall lay down the details and conditions and, where appropriate, any special formal or technical requirements for the filing of documents. In particular, he may specify that confirmation must be supplied. If such confirmation is not supplied in due time, the European patent application shall be refused; documents filed subsequently shall be deemed not to have been received."

Rule 124(3) shall read as follows:

"(3) The minutes shall be authenticated by the employee responsible for drawing them up and by the employee who conducted the oral proceedings or taking of evidence, either by their signature or by any other appropriate means."

Rule 125(1) and (2)(a) and (b) shall read as follows:

"(1) The European Patent Office shall, as a matter of course, notify those concerned of decisions and summonses, and of any notice or other communication from which a time limit is reckoned, or of which those concerned must be notified under the Convention, or of which notification has been ordered by the President of the European Patent Office. Any notification to be made shall take the form of the original document, a copy thereof certified by or bearing the seal of the European Patent Office, a computer print-out bearing such seal or an electronic document containing such seal or otherwise certified. Copies of documents emanating from the parties themselves shall not require such certification.

(2) Notification shall be made:

(a) by postal services in accordance with Rule 126;

(b) by means of electronic communication in accordance with Rule 127;"

Rule 126 shall read as follows:

"Rule 126

Notification by postal services

(1) Decisions incurring a period for appeal or a petition for review, summonses and other such documents as determined by the President of the European Patent Office shall be notified by registered letter with advice of delivery or equivalent. All other notifications by postal services shall be by registered letter.

(2) Where notification is effected in accordance with paragraph 1, the letter shall be deemed to be delivered to the addressee on the tenth day following its handover to the postal service provider, unless it has failed to reach the addressee or has reached him at a later date; in the event of any dispute, it shall be incumbent on the European Patent Office to establish that the letter has reached its destination or to establish the date on which the letter was delivered to the addressee, as the case may be.

(3) Notification in accordance with paragraph 1 shall be deemed to have been effected even if acceptance of the letter has been refused.

(4) To the extent that notification by postal services is not covered by paragraphs 1 to 3, the law of the State in which the notification is made shall apply."

Rule 127 shall read as follows:

"Rule 127

Notification by means of electronic communication

(1) Notification may be effected by means of electronic communication as determined by the President of the European Patent Office and under the conditions laid down by him.

(2) Where notification is effected by means of electronic communication, the electronic document shall be deemed to be delivered to the addressee on the tenth day following its transmission, unless it has failed to reach its destination or has reached its destination at a later date; in the event of any dispute, it shall be incumbent on the European Patent Office to establish that the electronic document has reached its destination or to establish the date on which it reached its destination, as the case may be." 

The German version of Rule 129(1) shall read as follows:

"(1) Kann die Anschrift des Empfängers nicht festgestellt werden oder war die Zustellung nach Regel 126 Absatz 1 auch nach einem zweiten Versuch unmöglich, so wird durch öffentliche Bekanntmachung zugestellt."

Rule 133(1) shall read as follows:

"(1) A document received late at the European Patent Office shall be deemed to have been received in due time if it was delivered to a recognised postal service provider in due time before expiry of the period in accordance with the conditions laid down by the President of the European Patent Office, unless the document was received later than three months after expiry of the period."

Rule 134(1) shall read as follows:

"(1) If a period expires on a day on which one of the filing offices of the European Patent Office under Rule 35, paragraph 1, is not open for receipt of documents or on which, for reasons other than those referred to in paragraph 2, mail is not delivered there, the period shall extend to the first day thereafter on which all the filing offices are open for receipt of documents and on which mail is delivered. The first sentence shall apply mutatis mutandis if documents filed by one of the means of electronic communication permitted by the President of the European Patent Office under Rule 2, paragraph 1, cannot be received."

Rule 134(5) shall read as follows:

"(5) Without prejudice to paragraphs 1 to 4, a party concerned may produce evidence that on any of the ten days preceding the day of expiry of a period the delivery or transmission of mail was dislocated due to an exceptional occurrence such as a natural disaster, war, civil disorder, a general breakdown in any of the means of electronic communication permitted by the President of the European Patent Office under Rule 2, paragraph 1, or other like reasons affecting the locality where the party or his representative resides or has his place of business. If the evidence produced satisfies the European Patent Office, a document received late shall be deemed to have been received in due time, provided that the mailing or the transmission was effected at the latest on the fifth day after the end of the dislocation."

Article 2

This decision shall enter into force on 1 April 2015.

Done at Munich, 15 October 2014

For the Administrative Council

The Chairman

Jesper KONGSTAD

 

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