Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 10 September 2014 concerning the filing of documents using the EPO case management system
Filing using the EPO case management system
(1) European patent applications, international (PCT) applications, and other documents relating to such applications may, in accordance with this decision and without prejudice to other means of filing documents, be filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) using the EPO case management system (CMS) provided on its website.
(2) Access to, and use of, the CMS requires a smart card issued or accepted by the EPO and registered for using the CMS.
(1) Article 1 does not apply to priority documents, to documents in respect of appeal proceedings (Articles 106 to 112 EPC) or to documents in respect of proceedings for review by the Enlarged Board of Appeal of decisions of the boards of appeal (Article 112a EPC).
(2) The CMS must not be used to file documents referred to in paragraph 1; if they are filed nonetheless, they will be deemed not to have been received. Their sender, if identifiable, will be notified without delay.
Sequence listings may only be filed in accordance with the provisions governing the filing of sequence listings. [ 1 ]
Specific formal requirements
Documents filed via the CMS must be filed in accordance with the Administrative Instructions under the PCT, Part 7 and Annex F.
(1) Where filed documents require signature, this may take the form of a facsimile signature or a text string signature.
(2) A facsimile signature is a reproduction of the filing person's signature.
(3) A text string signature is a string of characters, preceded and followed by a forward slash (/), selected by the signatory to prove his identity and his intent to sign.
Date of filing and date of receipt of documents
(1) Without prejudice to Article 76(1) EPC, the date of filing accorded to a patent application filed via the CMS is the date on which the application documents thus transmitted are received at the EPO, provided these documents satisfy the requirements of Article 80 EPC and Rule 40 EPC or of Article 11(1) PCT.
(2) The date of receipt of subsequently filed documents is the date on which they are received at the EPO.
Acknowledgment of receipt
(1) Receipt of documents filed via the CMS is acknowledged electronically by the EPO via an acknowledgment of receipt in the CMS.
(2) Where such acknowledgment is not successfully transmitted, the EPO will transmit it by other means without delay, provided it has sufficient information to do so.
(3) The acknowledgment indicates the identity of the EPO, the date and time of receipt, a reference or application number assigned by the EPO, a list of the files transferred, and a hash value (the message digest).
(4) Acknowledgment of receipt does not imply the accordance of a date of filing.
Illegible or incomplete documents and infected files
(1) Where a filed document is illegible or incomplete, that part of it which is illegible or incomplete will be deemed not to have been received.
(2) If a filed document is infected with a computer virus or contains other malicious software, it will be deemed to be illegible. The EPO is not obliged to receive, open or process it.
(3) Where a filed document is found to be deficient within the meaning of paragraph 1 or 2, the sender, if identifiable, will be notified without delay.
Confirmation on paper
No paper documents need be filed to confirm documents filed electronically using the CMS.
Previous provisions superseded
When this decision enters into force, the conditions of use for the EPO case management system adopted in accordance with the decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 4 July 2012 concerning the pilot project to introduce new technical means of communication in EPO proceedings (OJ EPO 2012, 486) will cease to have effect.
Entry into force
This decision will enter into force on 2 October 2014.
Done at Munich, 10 September 2014