The President of the European Patent Office, having regard to Rule 2 EPC, has decided as follows:
Admissibility of third party observations by means of an online form
As a pilot project, and in addition to existing methods of filing documents, third party observations may be filed using the online form1 made available specifically for this purpose on the website of the European Patent Office.
A signature is not required to file third party observations.
Acknowledgement of receipt
(1) Receipt of third party observations filed in accordance with this decision shall be acknowledged electronically within the submission session by the European Patent Office.
(2) The acknowledgement shall include the date and time of receipt, a reference number assigned by the Office and a list of the files transferred.
Illegible or incomplete documents and infected files
(1) Where a filed document is illegible or incomplete, that part of it which is illegible or incomplete shall be deemed not to have been received.
(2) If a filed document is infected with a computer virus or contains other malicious software, it shall be deemed to be illegible. The Office shall not be obliged to either open or process it.
(3) Where a filed document is found to be deficient within the meaning of paragraph 1 or 2, the third party, if identifiable, shall be notified without delay.
Entry into force
This decision shall enter into force on 1 August 2011. It shall remain in force until such time as the Office decides to remove or disable the online form mentioned in Article 1 of this decision.
Done at Munich, 10 May 2011]
1 For further information see notice from the European Patent Office, OJ EPO 2011, 420.