EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Notice from the European Patent Office dated 8 March 2016 concerning amendment of the signature requirements in online filing
The decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 10 November 2015 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2015, A91) entered into force on 16 November 2015, creating a new legal basis for online filing (OLF).
In accordance with Articles 7(1) and 8 of the revised decision, in appeal proceedings too the signature of documents filed may now take the form of a facsimile signature, a text string signature or an enhanced electronic signature. The special signature requirement in appeal proceedings hitherto laid down in Article 8(2) of the decision dated 26 February 2009 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2009, 182) has been deleted. Otherwise, the revised decision has made no substantive changes.
New online filing (CMS) is not affected by this amendment. Under Article 5(1) of the relevant decision dated 11 March 2015 concerning the filing of documents using the EPO case management system (OJ EPO 2015, A27), documents may be signed by facsimile signature or text string signature; this also applies to documents filed in appeal proceedings.
Under Article 2 of the decision dated 10 September 2014 concerning the filing of documents using the EPO web-form filing service (OJ EPO 2014, A98), this service remains unavailable for filing documents in appeal proceedings, so it too is unaffected by the present amendment.