INFORMATION FROM THE EPO
Notice dated 1 October 2002 concerning the discontinuation of the EP-EASY project
1. Since 1997, applicants have been able to use the EP-EASY software developed by the EPO to prepare European patent applications in electronic form and to file them on diskette1. The possibility of filing by diskette was seen as an intermediate step in the process leading to the online filing of European patent applications. The online filing of European patent applications using the epoline® software was introduced by Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 7 December 2000 on the electronic filing of European patent applications and subsequent documents2.
2. No confirmation on paper is required for European patent applications filed under Article 1 of this Decision (Article 10(1) of the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 7 December 2000). As a result of the ensuing simplification of the procedure for applicants and the EPO alike, the Office has decided to discontinue the EP-EASY project with effect from the end of the year.
3. As of 1 January 2003 European patent applications prepared using the EP-EASY software will therefore no longer be accepted. The notice from the President of the European Patent Office dated 22 July 1997 (OJ EPO 1997, 377) will be cancelled. As a result, it will also no longer be possible to file European patent applications prepared using the EP-EASY software under Article 75(1)(b) EPC with the following central industrial property offices:
Belgium: Office de la Propriété Industrielle
Finland: Patentti- ja rekisterihallitus
France: Institut national de la propriété industrielle
Sweden: Patent- och registreringsverket
Switzerland: Eidgenössisches Institut für Geistiges Eigentum
United Kingdom: Patent Office
4. Applicants and representatives may continue to prepare and file national and international applications using the relevant EASY software (eg PCT-EASY) where the International Bureau or the national office concerned so permit.
5. Applicants and representatives wishing to file European patent applications in electronic form using the epoline® software issued by the EPO may obtain the software free of charge from:
epoline® Customer Services
Tel.: +31 70 3404500