13 October 2021
On 13th October 2021, a Lithuanian patent application became the first national filing to be made using new Front Office e-filing software. This is the result of intense collaboration between the EPO and several national patent offices including Lithuania, Spain and Greece, as part of the EPO's IT Co-operation Programme.
The initial Front Office service, launched today, supports the filing of national patent applications at a national office. The scope of the service will be incrementally extended to cover the filing of various requests and replies, EP validations, etc. The service will be hosted on each National Office's own infrastructure and will be adapted to that office's specific requirements.
Similar implementation work is underway at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) where the shared aim is to release a first version of a functioning tool in the coming months. The Hellenic Industrial Property Organisation (OBI) will be the third office to benefit from the development of the new Front Office service. Front Office will eventually be able to support the patent offices of EPO member states with an up-to-date system that replaces the legacy filing system dating from 1999.
The IT Cooperation Programme was launched under the EPO Strategic Plan 2023 and aims to equip EPO member states with modern IT tools that are co-created by a community of national experts, end users and international partners.