Notice from the European Patent Office dated 9 May 2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents
The decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 9 May 2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents[ 1 ] consolidates and replaces three previous decisions relating to the different means of electronic filing of documents. These concern filing by online means or on admissible electronic data carriers (OLF),[ 2 ] by using the EPO case management system (CMS)[ 3 ] and by using the EPO Web-Form Filing service (Web-Form Filing).[ 4 ]
This consolidated decision provides users with a convenient overview of the features of the different electronic filing services offered by the EPO, and harmonises the wording of the different decisions. The provisions regarding the filing date and confirmation on paper have been deleted, since they only repeated the known legal situation under the EPC. Article 9 has been added, clarifying which data formats are accepted under the different tools and replacing the more general references to the Administrative Instructions under the PCT, Part 7 and Annex F. The footnotes allow easy retrieval of related decisions and notices.
The technical features of the filing tools have not been amended.
This decision is without prejudice to other means of filing, such as delivery by hand or by postal services, or filings made by facsimile,[ 5 ] during video conferences,[ 6 ] as part of pilot projects[ 7 ] or using ePCT[ 8 ] or PCT-SAFE.
[ 5 ] Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007 concerning the filing of patent applications and other documents by facsimile, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, A3.
[ 6 ] Decision of the President of the EPO dated 20 April 2012 concerning the filing of documents by email during interviews and oral proceedings held as a videoconference, OJ EPO 2012, 348.
[ 8 ] Decision of the President of the EPO dated 24 October 2014 concerning the filing of international applications with the EPO acting as receiving Office using ePCT filing, OJ EPO 2014, A107; notice from the European Patent Office dated 23.09.2016 concerning the online filing of subsequently filed documents under the PCT, including the demand under PCT Chapter II, OJ EPO 2016, A78.