The re-engineered patent process requires a publication-ready, full-text technical specification to be made available at the point of filing. This becomes possible if applications are filed in DOCX OOXML format - a format that is already being used by the vast majority of our users to compile technical specifications. The benefit of this file format is that it is both human- and machine-readable. Filing in DOCX OOXML format will be a major step towards facilitating the filing of documents for users and avoiding the quality losses and costs of optical character recognition.
As of April 2018, the EPO intends to enable users of its online services to file technical specifications and subsequently filed documents (SFDs) directly as DOCX files. In most cases, this will eliminate the need for users to convert DOCX files to PDF format before filing with the EPO.
A pilot project will run from 1 November 2017 until 31 March 2018. The conditions of this project will be published on the EPO website before it goes live. The feedback received will provide a basis for further improvements to the electronic tools.
Users wishing to indicate their interest in participating in the pilot project are requested to register with the EPO by filling in the registration form below. To ensure that the pilot project produces meaningful results, the number of participants will be limited and participants will be chosen from the users registered to reflect the diversity of applicants (companies and law firms of different sizes and from different countries).
Deadline for registration: 29th September 2017