Filing of applications by delivery by hand or by postal services 

European patent applications may be filed by delivery by hand or by postal services at the EPO's filing offices in Munich, The Hague or Berlin. The EPO's sub-office in Vienna is not a filing office, nor is the Brussels Bureau.

The opening hours of the filing offices of the EPO were published in the Notice from the EPO dated 14 February 2018, OJ EPO 2018, A18. Dates on which at least one of them is not open to receive documents are likewise announced at regular intervals in the Official Journal of the EPO (see also E‑VIII, 1.4). The filing offices of the EPO may remain open during public holidays observed in the contracting states in which they are located. Since mail is not delivered on these days (see also E‑VIII, 1.4), applications may be filed by delivery by hand or using other permitted means of filing (see A‑II, 1.2; A‑II, 1.3).

The EPO filing offices in Berlin and Munich (only the PschorrHöfe building, see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 3 January 2017, OJ EPO 2017, A11) are equipped with automated mail-boxes, which may be used at any time. The automated mail-box facility is currently not available at the filing offices at Munich's Isar building and The Hague. Outside office hours documents may be handed in to the porter.

European patent applications (with the exception of divisional applications, see A‑IV, 1.3.1, and applications according to Art. 61(1)(b), see A‑IV, 2.5) may also be filed at the central industrial property office or other competent authority of a contracting state if the national law of that state so allows (see A‑II, 1.6).

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