Official Journal April 2020

Citation: A44
Online publication date: 30.4.2020

EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE


Information from the EPO

Decision of the Vice-President Legal and International Affairs of the European Patent Office (Directorate-General 5) dated 21 April 2020 concerning the conditions for participating in the pilot project for Online Filing 2.0

In accordance with Article 12 of the decision of the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) dated 11 March 2015 concerning the pilot project to introduce new means of electronic communication in EPO proceedings (OJ EPO 2015, A28), and in particular its Articles 6 and 7, it has been decided that, as part of that pilot project, documents in proceedings under the EPC and the PCT may be filed online by means of the Online Filing 2.0 software, subject to the applicable regulations set out in the EPC and PCT and the present conditions.

Article 1
Term of the Online Filing 2.0 pilot project

The Online Filing 2.0 pilot project starts on 4 May 2020.

Article 2
Conditions for participation

Any person may participate in the Online Filing 2.0 pilot project upon valid registration and invitation by the EPO.[ 1 ]

Article 3
Online filing means

(1) Under the Online Filing 2.0 pilot project, participants may file the application documents specified in Article 5 with the EPO online, using the Online Filing 2.0 software.

(2) Filing by means of EPO Online Filing (OLF), the EPO case management system (CMS) and the EPO Web-Form Filing service (Web-Form Filing)[ 2 ] and by means of PCT-SAFE, ePCT-Filing and the ePCT service for uploading documents is excluded from the Online Filing 2.0 pilot project.

(3) During the Online Filing 2.0 pilot project, it will not be possible to import application documents through direct integration of the Patent Management System (PMS) or to submit application documents prepared with PatXML software.

(4) The regulations governing online filing means apply mutatis mutandis to any filing in accordance with paragraph 1.[ 3 ]

Article 4
DOCX format

Application documents filed in DOCX format in accordance with Articles 3 and 5 must comply with the specifications in the format definition published by the EPO on its website.[ 4 ]

Article 5
Documents that may be filed under the Online Filing 2.0 pilot project

The following documents may be filed in accordance with Article 3:

(a) EPO Form 1001, together with the description, claims, abstract and drawings (application documents) of a European patent application and, if required, translations of any of these documents, in PDF or DOCX format, as well as other documents in PDF format;

(b) when entering the European phase (Rule 159 EPC), EPO Form 1200, together with any amendments for the processing in the European phase, including amendments under Article 19 and 34 PCT, and, if required, their translations, as well as other documents, in PDF format;

(c) form PCT/RO/101, together with the application documents of an international application filed with the EPO as receiving Office under the PCT, and, if required, translations of any of these documents, in PDF or XML format,[ 5 ] as well as other documents in PDF format;

(d) sequence listings for international, European and Euro-PCT applications in accordance with the provisions governing the filing of sequence listings;[ 6 ]

(e) upon further announcement, the documents under paragraphs (b) and (c) in, alternatively, DOCX format;

(f) upon further announcement, the application documents of an international application filed with the EPO as (Supplementary) International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority under the PCT, including a demand for preliminary examination in the international phase (PCT Demand), in PDF or DOCX format;

(g) upon further announcement, amendments, corrections and rectifications of documents under (a), (b), (c), (e) and (f) up to grant in PDF or DOCX format and documents under (d) up to grant in accordance with the provisions governing the filing of sequence listings[ 7 ] (EPO Form 1038, PCT-SFD);

(h) upon further announcement, documents in opposition, limitation, revocation and appeal proceedings and proceedings before the Enlarged Board of Appeal in PDF or DOCX format.

Article 6
User guides

The filing of documents must comply with the formal and technical requirements specified in the user guides on Online Filing 2.0 and DOCX filing, which will be made available to the participants in the Online Filing 2.0 pilot project.

Article 7
Existing methods of filing documents are not affected

The Online Filing 2.0 pilot project is without prejudice to the existing methods of filing documents.

Done at Munich, 21 April 2020

Christoph Ernst

Vice-President Legal and International Affairs of the European Patent Office (Directorate-General 5)

 

 

[ 1 ] See the call for participants published on the EPO website: epo.org/applying/online-services/improving.html.

[ 2 ] Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 9 May 2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2018, A45).

[ 3 ] See in particular the decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 9 May 2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2018, A45) and the notice from the European Patent Office dated 9 May 2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2018, A46).

[ 4 ] See the definition of "DOCX" under Article 4 of the decision of the Vice-President Legal and International Affairs of the European Patent Office (Directorate-General 5) dated 21 April 2020 concerning the conditions for participating in the pilot project for Online Filing 2.0 (OJ EPO 2020, A45).

[ 5 ] Documents in DOCX may be transformed into XML before filing by means of WIPO's converter, which is integrated in the Online Filing 2.0 software.

[ 6 ] Rule 30 EPC, Rule 13ter PCT, the decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 28 April 2011 on the filing of sequence listings (OJ EPO 2011, 372) and the notice from the European Patent Office dated 18 October 2013 concerning the filing of sequence listings (OJ EPO 2013, 542).

[ 7 ] See footnote 6.

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