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.
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.
Latest update on pilot:
The start of the pilot has had to be delayed while we finalise preparations and complete all the tests needed to ensure that the software is ready to use for filing.
Registered testers will be contacted in the coming weeks with details about the start of the pilot and with all information and instructions needed for the tests.
Meanwhile, we are still accepting registrations - via the form below - from candidates wishing to serve as pilot testers.