Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 11 May 2022 concerning the web-based online service MyEPO Portfolio
The President of the European Patent Office, having regard to Articles 10(2)(a) and 128 and Rules 2, 127, 145 and 147 EPC and Rules 44, 80.6, 89bis.1 and 2, 94.2bis and 94.3 PCT, has decided as follows:
Scope of MyEPO Portfolio
1. MyEPO Portfolio is a secure, web-based online service for parties to proceedings before the EPO. It is accessible from the MyEPO area on the EPO website.
2. Use of MyEPO Portfolio requires a smart card with certificates issued by the EPO.[ 1 ]
3. By signing in to MyEPO Portfolio, access is provided to:
(a) electronic notification via Mailbox;
(b) electronic filing as specified in Article 3;
(c) inspection of files as specified in Article 4;
(d) upon further announcement, additional functionalities.
4. The availability of functionalities within MyEPO Portfolio may be limited to specific categories of users. European professional representatives, legal practitioners entitled to act in proceedings under Article 134(8) EPC and parties who have their residence or place of business in an EPC contracting state may register for electronic notification via Mailbox. Electronic filing is available for European professional representatives and legal practitioners. Where multiple professional representatives have been individually appointed, only the first named representative on EPO Form 1001 or 1200 has access to electronic filing or to inspection of the files of unpublished applications. Functionalities may be made available to additional categories of users upon announcement on the EPO website or in the Official Journal.
1. Electronic notification under Rule 127 EPC is effected by electronic communication to Mailbox.
2. Mailbox may be accessed through MyEPO Portfolio or through the existing Mailbox service.
3. The decision of the President of the EPO dated 11 March 2015 concerning the pilot project to introduce new means of electronic communication in EPO proceedings (OJ EPO 2015, A28), in particular Articles 5 and 9, applies mutatis mutandis to electronic notification via Mailbox when accessed through MyEPO Portfolio.
1. Users may perform procedural acts in reply to a communication from the EPO within the prescribed period ("tasks"), file procedural requests (ʺactionsʺ) and submit accompanying documents. The list of pending tasks is displayed in the task menu and indicates the final date for performing each of them.
2. Any accompanying documents must be filed in PDF or TIFF format. Documents in PDF or TIFF format must comply with the definition of these formats provided in the Administrative Instructions under the PCT, Part 7 and Annex F.[ 2 ]
3. The procedural act performed or request filed is reflected in an electronic document automatically generated within the submission session.
4. The document referred to in paragraph 3 and any accompanying documents are authenticated when the signed-in user selects the dedicated button for authentication and submission. The documents authenticated in this way are deemed to meet the legal requirements of signature.
5. The document referred to in paragraph 3 and any accompanying documents are inserted into the file and made available for public file inspection in accordance with Article 128 EPC.
6. MyEPO Portfolio users are able to submit the following acts or requests:
- the reply to a communication under Rule 71(3) EPC, including any requests for correction of bibliographic data at that stage;
- a request for further processing before or after the issuance of a noting of loss of rights, following the expiry of the period for reply to a communication under Rule 71(3) EPC;
- the reply to communications from the examining division in respect of requests for correction or change of the bibliographic data set out in the communication under Rule 71(3) EPC or possible inconsistencies in the translation of the claims submitted in reply to the communication under Rule 71(3) EPC.
7. Additional tasks and actions will be added upon announcement on the EPO website or in the Official Journal.
8. Only documents, procedural acts or requests relating to the procedures under paragraph 6 or announced under paragraph 7 may be filed. Other documents, procedural acts or requests are deemed not to have been received.
9. Receipt of documents filed via MyEPO Portfolio is acknowledged electronically by the EPO following successful submission. The acknowledgment of receipt is provided, digitally signed by the EPO, within the submission session.
10. The provisions concerning the electronic filing of documents apply mutatis mutandis to any filing in accordance with paragraph 1.[ 3 ]
Inspection of files of applications and patents
1. The documents in the electronic file relating to European patent applications and granted patents, and to international applications under the PCT for which the European Patent Office acts as a designated or elected Office, may be inspected via MyEPO Portfolio in accordance with Article 128(4) EPC.
2. Inspection of files relating to an unpublished European patent application is restricted to the appointed European professional representative or legal practitioner in accordance with Article 128(1) EPC.
1. Users may activate email alerts to be sent to an email address specified by them when a defined event occurs.
2. Alerts can be activated for the following events:
- when a new document is received in the user's Mailbox,
- when a new task is created for the user,
- when two weeks remain before expiry of the period for completing a task.
3. Email alerts are provided as a courtesy service for information only and are not considered as notifications under Rule 127 EPC. Failure to send an alert for whatever reason will have no effect on any relevant notification or time limit. Users may not invoke the omission of an alert.
Formal and technical requirements
Further formal and technical requirements to be complied with are provided in MyEPO Portfolio and in the accompanying documentation made available to users.
Existing methods of filing documents, notification and file inspection
MyEPO Portfolio is provided without prejudice to the existing methods of filing documents, electronic notification and file inspection.
Previous decisions and pilot project
When this decision enters into force, the user area pilot project is discontinued and the decision of the Vice-President Legal and International Affairs (Directorate-General 5) of the European Patent Office dated 19 August 2021 concerning the user area pilot project (EPO OJ 2021, A64) will cease to have effect.
Entry into force
This decision enters into force on 1 June 2022.
Done at Munich, 11 May 2022
[ 1 ] See the decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 14 May 2021 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2021, A42). See also the notice from the European Patent Office dated 12 December 2016 concerning the use of smart cards by persons not resident in an EPC contracting state (OJ EPO 2017, A4).
[ 2 ] See Annex F to the Administrative Instructions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, Standard for the filing and processing in electronic form of international applications, available at wipo.int/pct/en/texts/ai/annex_f.html.
[ 3 ] See, in particular, the decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 14 May 2021 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2021, A42). See also the notice from the European Patent Office dated 22 October 2020 concerning the procedures and safeguards which apply under the EPC and the PCT in the event of outages of means of electronic filing and other online services (OJ EPO 2020, A120).