EPO continues IT modernisation with launch of new online filing tool

1 October 2014

Continuing to improve the quality of services to its users by establishing a one-stop shop for applicants, the European Patent Office (EPO) today launched a new system for the online filing of patent applications.

The launch marks a new and important step forward to reducing the amount of paper handling by increasing electronic communication between the applicant and the EPO. It opens the way to further minimising human interaction in the administrative handling of patent applications with the aim of improving the quality of data used and services offered by the EPO and to enhancing the efficiency and timeliness of the procedure.

"The launch of the new online filing system version 1.8 today constitutes a further significant move on the way to modernising the EPO's IT services as agreed with our member states," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "Following on to the successful launch of the mailbox, the new system supports the overall strategy of the Office to equip the European patent system with the best possible IT environment in order to reduce administrative costs for applicants. It also helps to align the European and PCT procedures under the same tool," he added.

Accessible through a browser interface, the new online filing system is web-based and does not require any installations or security updates by the user, which responds directly to a long-standing request of patent applicants. It fully supports patent applications filed both under the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, also including subsequently filed documents for both procedures.

The new system includes two new online services: new online filing (CMS), which allows you to file applications in a Web-based application accessible from your browser; and web-form filing, which allows you to upload and submit Annex F-compliant PDF documents.

The modernisation of the EPO's granting process is a pillar of the Office's "IT Roadmap" adopted in 2011. The introduction of new tools at the EPO became necessary as the current systems used in the process were reaching the end of their economic shelf live and needed to be replaced by a new generation of technologies which will also help to better align the European and PCT application procedures. The aim of the roadmap is to improve the EPO's services for its users, and minimise manual intervention for the benefit of a higher patent quality through better patent data and greater timeliness of the procedure.

The new online filing system will be gradually enhanced with additional services over the coming months.

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