On the navigation bar at the top, click on “Applying for a patent”. On the next page you will see a section headed “Online Services”, and the first link under that heading is “Online filing”. Click on this link and you will find a box marked “Download software for filing with the EPO”.
Nothing. The service is free of charge.
You need a smart card, a smart card reader (including software) and the Online Filing software itself.
You can order your smart card online. You will be sent a starter kit consisting of a smart card and a smart card reader. Your smart card is valid for five years.
Yes, you can. You have two new ways of filing via our webpage:
Please follow the links below for more information:
With the Online Filing software you can file the following documents with the EPO: EP (EP1001E2K) and Euro-PCT (EP1200E2K) applications as well as subsequent actions including appeals (EP1038E), PCT (PCT/RO/101) and EP(Oppo) documents with the EPO. You can also file national patent applications (DE, FI, FR, GB, NL, PL, SE, SK, and so on), EP1001 and PCT/RO/101 with the relevant national patent office.
As of 1 November 2015 the new version of the Online Filing software is 5.09.
You do not need a smart card to prepare applications, but you do need one to sign and send your application online to the EPO and most of the national offices.
You can check the functioning of your smart card and certificates as follows:
Users of GemSAFE Libraries version 6.0, 6.1 or 6.3 should click on Start -> Programs -> Gemalto -> Classic Client -> Classic Client Toolbox -> Certificates. You will see the window below, with the reader icons shown:
A soft certificate is a file which contains certificates which are similar to those on a smart card but which are not stored on or secured by the chip of a smart card. The EPO does not at present accept applications signed or sent to the EPO using soft certificates using the Online Filing software. It is, however, possible to file Form PCT/RO/101 prepared using PCT-SAFE and a WIPO-issued certificate.
Please contact us.
You can install the software in stand-alone or network mode. All you have to do is follow the instructions in the installation guide and the installer.
In version 5 of the software, the "Thin Client MSI" package offers the use of command lines for network installation, with "silent mode" and parameter setting.
To update the "Thin Client" module please refer to the installation guide: http://docs.epoline.org/epoline/products/olf5/OLF5_06_InstallGuide_EN_131216.pdf
The recommended minimum hardware for Online Filing in stand-alone mode is as follows:
Note: Online Filing only runs on machines with Microsoft Windows installed.
The recommended minimum hardware for Online Filing in network mode (server) is as follows:
Online Filing in stand-alone or network mode (server) can be installed on either
The client component of Online Filing can be installed on any of the Windows systems listed above.
Note: Online Filing cannot run on MAC or Linux servers. The EPO does not provide support for any kind of emulation on MAC or Linux.
Note: Although Online Filing can run in a terminal emulation software, the EPO does not provide support for use of the Online Filing software with a Microsoft Windows Terminal Server, Citrix Terminal Server or any kind of terminal emulation software.
All procedures have their own directories.
Each plug-in has additional sub-directories:
\bin - holds the *.exe file and any *.bin files, to start the GUI faster
\data - holds the temporary directories per action
\config - holds all the plug-ins definitions and configurations
The \db directory contains the database files.
The \fm directory contains the file-manager files.
The DTD files are in \fop\config\dtd or a \dtd sub-directory under the plug-in directory.
These are no longer in *.ini files and are now to be found in *.conf files with an extended parameter set.
Versions 4, 5, 6.01, 7, 8, 9, 10.1 and 11 of Adobe Acrobat Reader are supported. No other PDF readers or other versions of Acrobat are supported.
You can do this by exporting the sent application forms from the present installation, and importing them back into the new installation. For further information, see "Exporting and Importing Forms" in the Server Manager Help.
Note: To view sent applications, see the exported zip file. All imported applications have "Draft" status.
Such error message may be related to the fact that both EPO Online Filing version 5 (build 5.0.0.053 or higher) and PCT-SAFE software are installed on your machine and PCT-SAFE software was installed or updated later than EPO OLF software. To resolve the issue, please apply the following script. The underlying problem will be fixed in one of the future releases of PCT-SAFE. In case PCT-SAFE software is not installed on your machine, please contact us in order to trouble-shoot and resolve the issue.
If you want to view PDFs within a browser you have to enable the Adobe PDF plug-in. How you do this will vary depending on the type of browser you use.
For more information see chapter 10.6 of the installation guide or follow the instructions below:
You could try the Online Filing documentation area. Alternatively, please contact us.
Whether you are in the File Manager or in a form, simply go to Help => Online Filing Help.
Yes, you can file subsequent communications in the EP procedure online using Form EP(1038E). Priority documents are excluded, with the exception of digitally signed US certified copies of priority documents, which can be obtained from the USPTO website.
For the online filing of subsequently filed documents in the PCT procedure please use PCT-SFD.
Alternatively you can file via new online filing (CMS) or web-form filing.
Yes, in the File Manager go to the "All Applications" folder, then select Sent from the status selection bar. In the Info Pane click the View... button. This will display all the sent documents, including the receipt. These documents can be exported and saved in PDF or XML format.
The rules on attaching PDF files are even stricter under the PCT procedure than under the EP procedure, so please ensure that your PDF documents meet the following requirements:
If the problem persists, contact us or WIPO direct.
To ensure that the PDF you have created will be accepted by the Online Filing software, you can use the Amyuni PDF converter. Please contact us about this.
To guarantee compliance, you should ensure that your PDF generator and resulting PDFs meet the following criteria:
If you are generating PDFs from paper documents using your company scanner you should adjust the settings of your scanner accordingly.
PDF files containing a combination of landscape and portrait formats are accepted.
PDFs should not be signed (exception: certified copies of US priority documents). Note: US priority documents can be submitted in A4 format only.
The EPO Online Filing client may sometimes detect non-compliancy with Annex F in error and reject the file. It may also reject files which marginally exceed the permitted dimensions for A4 (PDF sizes up to 312 x 227 mm (A4 +5%) or 12.28 x 8.94" (letter +5%) are accepted).
To ensure that the PDF files you create will be accepted by the Online Filing software you can also use the Amyuni PDF converter. Please contact us to obtain this.
It means that either you have not specified your proxy details in the File Manager or Server Manager or your proxy server has not been enabled to allow SSL tunnelling under HTTPS. Please check the proxy settings defined in the Server Manager.
You can indicate that one or more Supplementary International Search Reports were drawn up in the international phase by mentioning the relevant Supplementary International Searching Authority (SISA) or Authorities in the "Annotations" tab on Form Euro-PCT (1200E2K). A copy of the Supplementary International Search Report does not need to be filed, as it will be transmitted directly to the EPO by WIPO.
Note: A possible fee reduction for a supplementary European search can be indicated by manually editing the "Reduction" column in "Fee selection" under the "Fee Payment" tab.
The new feature in Form 1200 or 1001 can be filled in as follows;
If you are not paying for any additional claims, enter "0" as stated in the validation panel of the Online filing software (see above).
If you are paying for additional claims, enter the number (including the first 15 that are free), if you already know how many you want to pay for.
If you do not yet know how many, enter "0". You will then be able to pay later, once you do know how many claims the application ends up with.
Please note: If you choose the fee payment option “Automatic debit order”, all fees will be debited automatically when due, and this field is disregarded.
To be able to pay the examination fee under the old fee system (before 1 April 2014), in the “Fee selection” tab you need to click the “Edit fee amount” box and manually insert 20% in the “Reduction” column.
A notice on the amendment of Rule 6 EPC setting out the eligibility criteria for the fee reduction and providing information on the new procedure will be published in the Official Journal of the EPO in February.To confirm that you are an entity within the meaning of Rule 6(4) EPC, simply tick the appropriate check box in the online form.
You are only required to supply proof (e.g. extracts from the Commercial Register or articles of association) at the EPO's express request.
As stated in the Administrative Council's decision of 13 December 2013 (CA/D 19/13), the definition of small and medium-sized enterprises applied is the one in the Commission's Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 as published in the Official Journal of the European Union L124, p. 36 on 20 May 2003 (Rule 6(5) EPC in OJ EPO 2014, A4, published online on 31 January 2014).
The representative must ask for the original documents as submitted to the competent receiving Office and then complete the “Number of pages” section by entering the correct number; any discrepancies with the pamphlet, Article 20 PCT documents received from WIPO or amendments filed will be corrected by the EPO. If the original documents are not available:
Under “Documents”, select the “Document Overview” tab and complete the “Description”, “Claims” and “Drawings” sub-tabs as follows:Tick the “International application as published” checkbox and type a minus sign “-” in the “Number of pages” box.
If you have already installed the latest version of the software (build number 126.96.36.199) on your server in order to solve the “certificate not trusted” error message in your Online Filing installation, you will need to update the thin client only, which means installing the latest version available in our download centre:
You will need to uninstall the outdated thin client first, and then you can download and install the newest version, which you will find under “More software”, named “MSI and EXE file for alternative installation of Online Filing version 5 (thin client only)” and dated 25.11.2014.
The UIBM has introduced a new online numbering system.
Under the new system, a national patent has a number in the format XXYYYYZZZZZZZZZ, where XX identifies the type of IP concerned, YYYY the year of filing and ZZZZZZZZZ a nine-digit sequential number (e.g. 102014000000158).
Users requesting a novelty search for a national patent they intend to file at the European Patent Office must continue to quote the application number in the "old" format if the priority date is before 01 July 2016, i.e. MI2014A000158.
The old application number is easy to find through the national database on the UIBM website using the code search (ricerca per codice).
If you cannot find the old number, you should add the new number as an annotation.
As from 1 January 2016 applicants are required to use the dedicated request form “EPO Form 1005”. You should fill it in and attach it in electronic format to Form 1038E as “non-public”. The EPO will not process requests filed informally, i.e. without using the dedicated form, and/or on paper, and it will not be sufficient to request PACE using the 'Annotations' tab in the OLF software.
Yes, you can. User profiles can be created within the File Manager under Tools => User Administration.
Yes. In the File Manager go to Tools => Address Book and then select File => Import/Export.
No. In version 5, you can simply use "Region/EP" to designate all states.
To create a blank template for an international application, you need to create a "New Draft" in the File Manager and then save it as a template. Saving a blank template for an international application via the "New template" function will not work in Online Filing V4, as PCT applications are created in V2.10 technology.
Follow these steps:
Create a new application => attach the file(s) => save the application => close the application => go back to the File Manager => select the application => right mouse click => choose "convert to template" => confirm popup => go to the Templates folder => double click the converted application => enter user reference => the form opens and the attachment is available.
No. It is possible for several users to access the same folder at the same time, but individual applications can only be accessed by one person at a time. When a user opens an application, the application is internally blocked for opening by other users. Other users attempting to open the application will see a message asking them to try again later or to open it in read-only mode.
When exporting an application, the File Manager only exports the relevant files. When exporting from the Server Manager, all files relating to an application are exported, including those that contain meta data such as, for example, "Last Saved". This meta data is contained in a separate file which is for Online Filing internal use only. That is why, when archiving sent applications, it is recommended to export them from the Server Manager.
Documents in appeal proceedings should preferably be filed using Form EP(1038).
Yes, Form EP (1038) can be used by any of the parties to appeal proceedings. The role of the party concerned will be clear from the nature of the document being filed.
No. With effect from 16 November 2015, three different signature options are available when filing appeal documents online.
As specified in the second paragraph of point 4 of the Notice, extensions of time limits may be granted only in exceptional cases with duly substantiated requests.
This means that extensions of time limits which do not satisfy the relevant requirements will not be granted.
National plug-ins can be downloaded either from this website or from the website of the national office concerned. All currently available national plug-ins are automatically installed by the latest full installation of Online Filing. See the installation guide for information on how to activate/deactivate them in version 5 ("Other procedures").
For any issues relating to the filing of national applications please contact the national office concerned.
With effect from 1 December 2013 the German Patent Office has implemented the SEPA Core Direct Debit Scheme as payment method. The changes and SEPA forms required to use this scheme are now integrated in the DE2007 software update available on our website.
Yes. You can use your EPO smart card to file patent applications with most national offices, with the exception of the French patent office (INPI).
Yes. Contact INPI direct to request a smart card.
At present, there are only two non-EPO cards approved for online transactions with the EPO. They are:
Yes. Users wishing to be kept up to date about new software versions, updates, patches and fixes can sign up for our RSS feeds.
You can also enable the Live Update functionality in the Server Manager. Go to Settings => Live Update Proxy and select "Enable software update system". You should also ensure that you have enabled the respective EPC contracting state by ticking the checkbox next to it under Tools => Preferences => System Preferences => Countries. If Live Update is enabled, updates for the EP, PCT and selected national office procedures will be initiated automatically.
You can select the interval at which you would like your software to check for updates by specifying the number of days in "Check for update every XX day(s)". The system will then notify you at the selected interval if any new software has been released. We recommend setting the interval to "1" as it will then check once a day, the first time you start the software. You can enter your own and/or anybody else's e-mail address in the Server Manager Settings tab. Everybody on that list will then be sent an automatically generated e-mail whenever a new Live Update is available.
It is important to bear in mind that you first need to download the updates before you can install them. Downloading on its own is not sufficient to complete the process of updating. You must also install them in order to effectively apply the update to the Online Filing software.
Note: Please also read the restrictions concerning Live Update.
This means that Live Update was not correctly configured. Please refer to our installation guide in order to configure Live Update:
If you are already using version 5.08 (build 188.8.131.52 or higher), the update to version 5.09 is available in our download centre.
If you have activated the Live Update function you will be notified automatically.
Within the document, go to File => Print and select the Amyuni PDF Converter from the list of printers, then click OK. You will need to give the resulting PDF file a name. The Amyuni PDF Converter is set up as a regular printer and can convert data from any software with printing ability.
You can also use any other PDF converter as long as the resulting PDFs comply with the Annex F standard. By using the Amyuni PDF converter, you can always be sure that your documents are Annex-F-compliant.
The Amyuni is not automatically installed on your machine when you do a Thin Client installation, please contact us.
You can use PatXML, a software tool which allows you to use Microsoft Word to create EP and PCT patent applications in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format (technical documents only).
In the pre-conversion archive you can add the documents (description, claims, abstract, drawings) that you have attached to your application in PDF or XML format in their original format (e.g. MS Word) in a .zip file.
The new version 184.108.40.206 of the Amyuni PDF converter has now been released to production. This version is password protected therefore in order to receive the password please contact us
Tick the field "The description contains a sequence listing" in "Biology" on form PCT/RO/101.
Proceed to "Contents". Attach a sequence listing in accordance with Annex C/WIPO Standard ST.25 text format (*.app or *.txt) as part of an international application filed in electronic form, without attaching the sequence listing in *.pdf format.
Set the number of pages of the attachment (*.app or *.txt) to zero, so that the sequence listing is not added to the number of pages to be paid.
The formalities officers will look at the smart card signature. That means that if the letter bears the signature of a non-EP attorney, this will be disregarded because with online filings the important signature is the one at the point of electronic signing of Form 1038, by means of a smart card or a text-string (alphabetical) or facsimile signature. This signature (the electronic one) is the one that has to be performed by a professional representative.
We offer several ways of filing online, as indicated in the comparison table.
When using the online filing software you can sign by means of a smart card or a text-string (alphabetical) or facsimile signature.
When filing via CMS you can sign by means of a text-string or facsimile signature, but you will need a smart card to log in.
When filing via the web-form filing service you can also sign by means of a text-string or facsimile signature, and no smart card is needed.
When filing by fax or post please always provide a physical signature (which could also be a pasted scan of the signature).
No, you do not have to deposit a text string signature with the EPO. However, you must be registered as a professional representative before the EPO for this signature to be accepted. The same applies to the other two signature options in Online Filing (smart card signature and facsimile signature).
You must provide a new signature every time you file a document.
Documents do not require a handwritten signature in Online Filing. If you so wish, you may however sign your documents with a facsimile signature or choose one of the other two options (smart card signature or text string signature).
Yes. As of 1 April 2015 this feature will be available in the Online Filing software for:
where the EPO is acting in its capacity as receiving Office (RO), International Searching Authority (ISA) or International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA).
This feature will be available for PCT/RO/101 once you install the 1 July 2015 update for the Online filing software.
You can find it under the “Mode of payment” dropdown menu in the “Payment” tab.
You can request automatic debiting
You should inform the EPO via the PCT-SFD (subsequently filed document) plug-in how many independent inventions you want it to search.
If you fail to reply, all the additional search fees due will be debited automatically from your deposit account.
You should inform the EPO via the PCT-SFD (subsequently filed document) plug-in how many independent inventions you want it to examine.
If you fail to reply, all the additional examination fees due will be debited automatically from your deposit account.
Information on 'Fees for international applications: new equivalent amounts' for 2016 can be found in the Official Journal, OJ 11/2015, A100.
As a rule, there is a biennial increase in EP fees - this can be expected as from 1 April 2016.
The fees approved by the EPO’s Administrative Council at its December 2015 meeting (16/17 December 2015) should be published in the near future on the EPO website.