In proceedings before the European Patent Office, documents may be filed by delivery by hand, by postal services or by means of electronic communication. The President of the European Patent Office shall lay down the details and conditions and, where appropriate, any special formal or technical requirements for the filing of documents. In particular, he may specify that confirmation must be supplied. If such confirmation is not supplied in due time, the European patent application shall be refused; documents filed subsequently shall be deemed not to have been received.
Where the Convention provides that a document must be signed, the authenticity of the document may be confirmed by handwritten signature or other appropriate means the use of which has been permitted by the President of the European Patent Office. A document authenticated by such other means shall be deemed to meet the legal requirements of signature in the same way as a document bearing a handwritten signature which has been filed in paper form.
See decisions of the President of the EPO, Special edition No. 3 OJ EPO 2007, A.3, A.5 and OJ EPO 2015, A91 and 2016, A21, as well as OJ EPO 2020, A71OJ EPO 2012, 348 (revoking in part by its Article 9 the decisions of the President of the EPO, OJ EPO 1999, 509 and 2000, 458).
See decision of the President of the EPO dated 20.02.2019 concerning the filing of patent applications and other documents by facsimile, OJ EPO 2019, A18.
See the decisions of the President of the EPO dated 09.05.2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents, OJ EPO 2018, A45, OJ EPO 2018, A93 and the notices from the EPO, OJ EPO 2018, A46, OJ EPO 2018, A94 concerning the filing of documents using the EPO case management system (OJ EPO 2015, A27) or the EPO web-form filing service (OJ EPO 2014, A98) or online filing (OJ EPO 2015, A91, 2016, A21 and OJ EPO 2017, A59).
See also decision of the President of the EPO concerning the pilot project to introduce new means of electronic communication in EPO proceedings, OJ EPO 2015, A28.