https://www.epo.org/en/node/comparison-table

Online filing options comparison table

What it is

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT 

You prepare your PDF or XML (using PATXML software) documents (except for the request) offline. 

Your documents are stored locally and can be retrieved and re-used at any time later on. 

A receipt is issued immediately upon filing. 

It is a web-based application – no need for updates at the user’s end (except for the Cryptovision software for your smart card. If you use the two-step verification already, no updates are needed). 

You prepare your PDF or XML documents offline (except for the request).  

Your documents are stored on the EPO server during the whole process and can be retrieved and re-used.  

A receipt is issued immediately upon filing. 

It is a web-based application; this means that there is no need for updates at the user’s end.  

You prepare your PDF documents offline (including the request) and then submit them.  

Documents are not stored and cannot be retrieved or re-used later on.  

A receipt is issued immediately upon filing. 

It is a web-based application; this means that there is no need for updates at the user’s end. You prepare your documents (except the request) offline in PDF or DOCX (converted within ePCT to XML) and submit them.  

Your documents are stored on the IB's server during the whole process and can be retrieved and re-used at any time later on.  

A receipt is issued immediately upon filing. 

Supported procedures

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT 
  • EP 1001

  • EP 1200 (Euro-PCT) 

  • EP 1038 (including appeal) 

  • PCT demand (PCT/IPEA/401) 

  • PCT SFD (subsequent actions) 

  • EP OPPO (opposition) 

  • PCT/RO/101  

  • Supports filing with several national offices, including national office procedure and IB (PCT/RO/101) 

  • UP 7000 (Request for unitary effect) 

  • UP 7038 (European patent with unitary effect – Letter accompanying subsequently filed items) 

  • EP 1001 

  • EP 1200 (Euro-PCT) 

  • EP 2300 (Notice of opposition) 

  • EP 1038 (including filing, search, examination, opposition, limitation and revocation) 

  • PCT/RO/101  

  • PCT SFD (subsequent action) 

  • PCT/IPEA/401  

  • UP 7000 (Request for unitary effect) 

  • UP 7038 (European patent with unitary effect – Letter accompanying subsequently filed items) 

  • EP3002E (Notice of appeal) 

  • EP 1038 (appeal) 

  • EP 1001 

  • EP 1200 (Euro-PCT)

  • EP 1038 with the exception of opposition, limitation, revocation and appeal proceedings 

  • PCT RO-EPO, PCT ISA-EPO, PCT IPEA subsequently filed documents 

  • PCT/RO/101  

  • UP 7000 (Request for unitary effect)

  • UP 7038 (European patent with unitary effect – Letter accompanying subsequently filed items) 

  • PCT/RO/101  

  • PCT demand (PCT/IPEA/401). See Actions > Submit Chapter II Demand  

  • Upload of subsequently filed documents to the EPO as RO, ISA or IPEA 

Not supported procedures

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT 

 

  • Filing with national offices 

  • Opposition 

  • Limitation 

  • Revocation 

  • Appeal proceedings 

  • Filing with national offices 

  • Payments 

  • Filing of sequence listings 

  • filing of authorisations 

  • electronic filing of priority documents 

  • enhanced electronic signature 

  • EP 1001 

  • EP 1200 (Euro-PCT) 

  • EP 1038 

  • EP Oppo (opposition) 

  • National office filings 

Requirements

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT 
  • Users need an activated smart card or EPO Account using two-step verification. 

  • The EPO account works for EP and PCT submissions to the EPO as filing office, receiving office or in any other capacity. 

  • Users who do not yet have an EPO account set up can create one here   

  • Users who already have an EPO account (i.e., they have an EPO smartcard), can migrate to two-step verification, but support for this option will stop at the end of 2024 when smart cards will no longer be supported. 

  • If users wish to set their account up with smart card and two-step verification, they can go here

  • The OLF software must be installed and up to date patches 

  • Cryptovision smart card software is required (please contact support @epo.org for download details) 

  • Users need to register for Online Filing 2.0 

  • Users need to sign in via their EPO account using two-step verification 

  • Users who do not yet have an EPO account set up can create one here   

  • Users who already have an EPO account (i.e., they have an EPO smartcard), can migrate to two-step verification, but support for this option will stop at the end of 2024 when smart cards will no longer be supported. 

  • If users wish to set their account up with smart card and two-step verification, they can go here

  • Users have to enrol and they obtain a username and password within minutes 

  • It requires additional authentication by uploading a digital certificate to a WIPO user account, or by using an activated EPO smartcard, or by entering a one-time password generated by app or received by text message (SMS) 

Access/ level of security 

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT 

The EPO Account or smart card is only needed for submission. 

The two-step verification is used to access the application and is needed during the whole process, including signing. Account management enables certain actions to be restricted to certain users. 

Service is provided via a secure internet connection. 

Service is provided via a secure internet connection.  

Account management enables sharing of rights with other users (ehandshake). 

Format of documents 

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT 
  • PDF or XML format 
  • Sequence listings (ST26) 
  • PDF or XML format 
  • Sequence listings (ST26) 
  • PDF 
  • PDF, DOCX converted to XML, XML, sequence listings in TXT (ST26) 

Who it is recommended for

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT 

All users 

All users 

All users still filing on paper as a robust alternative to fax (guarantees transmission of documents with no loss of quality) or a fallback if the Online Filing (OLF) services are disrupted. 

All users 

Link to more information

Online Filing (OLF)  Online Filing 2.0  Web-form filing  ePCT