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FAQ – New online filing (CMS)

Questions

General information

User registration

Account management

Access control and smart card issues

Technical requirements and software/hardware issues

Where to find help

Digital signature

Security

Current filing and submission issues - Documents

Current filing and submission issues – Attachments

Current filing and submission issues – Procedural issues

Error messages

Tools - templates – features

Updates

Conversion issues (PDF, PatXML)

Filing of sequence listings

Date of receipt of documents

Acknowledgment of receipt

Answers

General information


What is the new online filing (CMS)?

The new online filing (CMS) is the EPO’s new web service. It allows users to work on and file applications together with other users from the same organisation.


How much does it cost to use the new online filing (CMS)?

The new online filing (CMS) service is free of charge.


Do I get any fee reduction if I use the new online filing (CMS)?

The existing fee reductions for filing in electronic form are also applicable to the CMS.


Who can use the new online filing (CMS)?

Anyone with an activated smart card can use the new online filing (CMS). All you have to do is fill in the online registration form. (See “User registration”).


User registration


How do I register for the new online filing (CMS)?

Use the Online registration form for new online filing (CMS).

Once you submit the form, the EPO customer services will process your registration and inform you when you can start using the CMS.


Can I register colleagues for new online filing (CMS) myself?

If you have organisation administration rights you can register anyone from your organisation who holds an activated smart card.

The Account Management tab contains an overview of all the registered users in your organisation. All you have to do is select Register new user to my organisation.


Once I have registered, how soon will I be able to start filing documents?

You will be able to start using the CMS on the first working day following receipt of the e-mail confirmation from the EPO’s Customer Desk


Account management


Can I assign particular privileges to users in the new online filing (CMS)?

Yes, you can, provided you have organisation administration rights. This allows you to manage user profiles within the Account Management tab.


Access control and smart card issues


What access control methods are built into and supported by the system?

You need a smart card to access the CMS. If you already have one for OLF, you can also use it for the CMS.


Do I need a smart card to prepare and file patent applications using the new online filing (CMS)?

Yes, with the new online filing (CMS) you need to be logged in with a smart card at all times, including during the signing process.


Where can I get a smart card?

You can order your smart card online via the EPO’s website. We will send you a starter kit consisting of a smart card and smart card reader.


How can I verify that my smart card reader has been properly installed and that my smart card is recognised by my PC?

You can check the functioning of your smart card and certificates as follows:

Click on Start -> Programs -> Gemalto -> Classic Client -> Classic Client Toolbox -> Certificates. You will see the window below, with the reader icons shown.

Screenshot of GemSAFE Libraries


I cannot access the new online filing (CMS) with my smart card. What should I do?

Please contact EPO Customer Services.


If I enter my PIN code incorrectly three times in succession, how do I then unlock my smart card?

If this happens, please contact EPO Customer Services.


Can I use a software certificate to access the new online filing (CMS)?

Software certificates are similar to those stored on smart cards, but they are not secured by a hardware mechanism such as the chip on a smart card. The EPO does not at present accept authentication using software certificates.


Does the CMS use role-based access control?

Yes, the new online filing (CMS) allows user access via associated user role(s).


Are accounts set up to have the minimum required privileges only?

Yes, the “least privilege principle” is applied when new users and new roles are created.


Will I be automatically logged off from the system after a pre-defined time?

Yes, sessions are timed out if the user is inactive for a prolonged period.


I have been unable to access new online filing (CMS) since 27 September 2015. What should I do?

Owing to technical improvements made with effect from 27 September 2015, you can no longer access CMS using Windows XP in conjunction with either Internet Explorer 8 or Chrome.

To access CMS, either

  • use an alternative operating system or
  • change your browser (e.g. to Mozilla Firefox) and update the smart card certificate therein.

Technical requirements and software/hardware issues


When I try to view a PDF in Online Filing I get this error message: “There is a problem with Adobe Acrobat/Reader. If it is running please exit and try again (523:523)”. What can I do?

This problem is caused by a recent update to Adobe Acrobat which re-enabled "Protected Mode at start-up”. In order to resolve it, disable the option.

You can do this by launching Adobe Reader, selecting ‘Preferences’ from the ‘Edit’ menu, and then selecting ‘Security (Enhanced)’. Untick the box beside ‘Enable Protected Mode at start-up’ to disable.

If the option is already grey or disabled, refer to the following Adobe blog post for the necessary registry or policy settings that need to be changed: 

"Protected View in Acrobat X, Version 10.1" blog posting by Adobe

What equipment do I need to file documents via the new online filing (CMS)?

To file documents online via the new online filing (CMS), you need equipment capable of accepting a USB smart card reader and its software drivers, and an internet browser.


Do I have to install additional software on my workstation to use the new online filing (CMS)?

As a web application, this service does not require users to install any applications on their own workstations other than the smart card reader driver (see “What software do I need to install to use the EPO smart card?”).


What software do I need to install to use the EPO smart card?

To set your smart card up, you need to install two software packages:

  • Gemplus reader driver
  • Gemalto Classic Client /Gemsafe Libraries

You can download the most recent version of these software packages at

Gemalto is password-protected. Please contact EPO Customer Services to obtain your password.


Which internet browser versions are supported by the new online filing (CMS)?

Most recent internet browsers are supported by the application, as long as they support the TLS 1.0 protocol to enable HTTPS transactions.


Which Adobe Acrobat Reader versions arWhich Adobe Acrobat Reader versions are supported in Online Filing? Are any other PDF readers supported?

Adobe Acrobat Reader version 11 or higher must be installed on the computer for Online filing to work. No other PDF readers or other versions of Acrobat are supported.


Can users work with the system while they are offline?

The new online filing (CMS) can only be used online. No offline mode is available.


Where to find help


If I cannot find the information I need in the new online filing (CMS) tutorial, where else can I look?

You could try the Settings and quick access guide for the new online filing (CMS). Alternatively, please contact our Customer Services.


Is the system formally documented? What documentation is available for users?

There is no public document on the architecture and technical specifications of the application. User manuals are available either via the tool itself or on the EPO website.


Where can I find help with the new online filing (CMS) functions?

When you are logged in on the new online filing (CMS), simply click on the tab Online Help. You can also consult the User manual from the EPO website.


Who do I contact for help?

Please contact EPO Customer Services.


Digital signature


What are the requirements for signatures in the new online filing (CMS)?

Documents filed via the new online filing (CMS) can be signed by facsimile signature or by text-string signature. Example: /John Smith /


Can I sign applications with a software certificate?

The EPO does not at present accept any applications signed or submitted using soft certificates. This includes applications filed using the new online filing (CMS).


Security


What security policies and standards apply to the CMS?

The EPO has developed information security policies and standards that are in line with the ISO 27001:2013 standard. We reassess the compliance of the CMS with these policies before each major new release.


Is the new online filing (CMS) reviewed regularly for security vulnerabilities?

Yes, the EPO integrates security design and testing into the development lifecycle, both internally and when working with recognised third parties.


Will the system have or require access to my company data and information?

The new online filing system is a web-based application that does not require access to any external source of information. The only information processed by the EPO is that which has been actively entered and uploaded by the user.


Does the system store information locally on the client? What information is stored and how is it protected from unauthorised access?

The new online filing (CMS) is a web application. As such, only cookies are  stored locally. These merely contain context information used to enhance the user experience in accordance with web development standards.


How are passwords and cryptographic keys protected within the software?

The use of smart cards means that user credentials can be protected within the cards themselves, and therefore only public keys are stored within the system.


What activity can be logged by the system? How is access to the log files and audit trails restricted?

Logs are implemented in accordance with EPO security policies. User transactions and uploaded information are scrutinised from a security perspective (including DDoS, malware, etc...), but the logs do not store any user data. Access to the logs is restricted to accredited employees from the EPO’s information security department, under the authority of the Chief Information Security Officer, and subject to the recommendations and advice of the Data Protection Officer.


Current filing and submission issues - Documents


Types of document: What documents can I file using the new online filing (CMS)?

With the new online filing (CMS) application you can file EP Form 1001 (EP direct), EP Form 1200 (Euro-PCT), PCT/RO/101 and EP Form 1038 (subsequent actions for all EP and PCT procedures, including PCT Chapter II demand, documents in respect of appeal proceedings and notice of opposition (PDF only)).


Which documents are not currently allowed by the new online filing (CMS)?

  • Priority documents and authorisations
  • EP applications via a national patent office

Do I have to send a confirmation copy on paper?

No.


What happens if I submit documents that are not allowed to be filed by the new online filing (CMS)?

Documents which are not allowed to be filed are deemed not to have been received.


Early processing - Pamphlet not yet published: I would like to file Form 1200 (Entry into the European phase), but the pamphlet (international application) has not yet been published. How do I enter the number of pages for the description, claims and drawings if I do not intend to introduce amendments on entry into the regional phase?

The representative must ask for the original documents as submitted to the competent receiving Office and then complete the “Number of pages” section by entering the correct number; any discrepancies with the pamphlet, Article 20 PCT documents received from WIPO or amendments filed will be corrected by the EPO. If the original documents are not available:

Under “Documents”, click on the pencil symbol in the “Document overview” box and three separate windows will subsequently pop up, for “Description”, “Claims” and “Drawings”. Fill them in as follows:

In the Description window, tick the “International application as published” checkbox and type a “1” in the “Number of pages” box. Then click “Next” and the next pop-up window concerning the claims will appear. Here, in the Claims window, type in the number of claims, tick the “International application as published” checkbox and type a “1” in the “Number of pages” box. Then click “Next” and the next pop-up window concerning the drawings will appear. Here, in the Drawings window, tick the “International application as published” checkbox and type a “1” in the “Number of pages” box. Finish by clicking “Next”.


Subsequently filed documents (F1038): Can I submit subsequently filed documents for any application, or just for the ones I have filed via the CMS?

You can start using Form 1038 at any stage, regardless of how you filed your documents previously. The CMS is simply a new channel for sending documents to the EPO.


Viewing submitted documents: Is there any way of finding out exactly what the EPO has received as a result of my filing with the new online filing (CMS)?

Yes, in the Documents tab of your application go to the System-generated table, then select Export file. Click on the Download link to trigger the download of a zip file which contains all the documents you submitted to the EPO, including the acknowledgement of receipt from the EPO. These documents can be   exported and saved in PDF or XML format.


How do I request “PACE” procedure before the European Patent Office?

As from 1 January 2016 applicants are required to use the dedicated request form (EPO Form 1005), which must be filed online.

The EPO will not process requests filed informally, i.e. without using the dedicated form, and/or on paper”.

In CMS, the document (EPO Form 1005) has to be added to Form 1038 by choosing “Request for accelerated search/examinitation” under the document types “Non-public”.

It is not sufficient to request accelerated search/examinitation (PACE) using the Remarks tab in the CMS software.


I want to file a European application claiming the priority of an Italian document but CMS does not accept the priority document's number format. What can I do?

The UIBM has introduced a new online numbering system. Under the new system, a national patent has a number in the format XXYYYYZZZZZZZZZ, where XX identifies the type of IP concerned, YYYY the year of filing and ZZZZZZZZZ a nine-digit sequential number (e.g. 102014000000158).Users requesting a novelty search for a national patent they intend to file at the European Patent Office must continue to quote the application number in the "old" format, i.e. MI2014A000158.The old application number is easy to find through the national database on the UIBM website using the code search (ricerca per codice).

If you cannot find the old number use the following workaround:

Write “Remarks” in the field foreseen for the number of the priority document


Write the new priority number in the Remarks-field under “Application”


Current filing and submission issues – Attachments


Annex F standard: Every time I try to attach a PDF document to my EP filing I get the following error message: "The PDF file you tried to attach does not comply with the Annex F standard. Some fonts used in it have not been embedded". What should I do?

To guarantee compliance, you should ensure that your PDF generator and resulting PDFs meet the following criteria:

  • all fonts are embedded (exception: Base 14 fonts are accepted even if they are not embedded)
  • the page size is A4 or smaller
  • the PDF is not encrypted
  • the PDF is Version 1.4 (or later)
  • the PDF does not contain embedded OLE objects
  • If you are generating PDFs from paper documents using your company scanner you should adjust the settings of your scanner accordingly.
  • PDF files containing a combination of landscape and portrait formats are accepted.
  • PDFs should not be signed.
  • The application may sometimes detect non-compliancy with Annex F in error and reject the file. It may also reject files which marginally exceed the permitted dimensions for A4 (PDF sizes up to 312 x 227 mm (A4 +5%) or 12.28 x 8.94" (letter +5%) are accepted).

To ensure that the PDF files you create will be accepted by the new online filing application you can also use the Amyuni PDF converter. Please contact EPO Customer Services about this.


Number of pages: When I try to enter the number of pages of claims (from page, to page) I get an error message saying “Overlap“. What does this mean?

Under the tabs from page and to page, you should enter the number of pages with claims (e.g. 1-3) and not the sequence number of the pages in the specification document (e.g. 16 -18).


PCT applications: When I try to attach PDF files to my PCT application I get a red or yellow validation message. What should I do?

Please ensure that your PDF documents meet the following requirements:

  • Adobe Portable Document Format Version 1.4 compatible
  • Non-compressed text to facilitate searching
  • Unencrypted text
  • No embedded OLE objects
  • All fonts embedded and licensed for distribution

If the problem persists, contact EPO Customer Services or WIPO direct.

To ensure that the PDF files you create will be accepted by the new online filing application you can also use the Amyuni PDF converter. Please contact EPO Customer Services about this.

For more information about PDF, TIFF and JPG formats see the WIPO website


How can I attach a PatXML application in the CMS?

You should first convert the PatXML application (pxml and tiff files) to a single zip file. Then attach this zip file as Specification in XML format to the CMS form.


Current filing and submission issues – Procedural issues


SISR/Form 1200: A Supplementary International Search Report (SISR) was drawn up by a Supplementary International Searching Authority (SISA) under the PCT. Where can I indicate this on the Online Filing form for entry into the European phase (EP Form 1200)?

You can indicate that one or more supplementary international search reports were drawn up in the international phase by mentioning the relevant Supplementary International Searching Authority (SISA) or Authorities in the Remarks field in the EP Phase tab on Form EP 1200. You do not need to file a copy of the supplementary international search report as WIPO will transmit it  direct to the EPO.


Rule 6 EPC (fee reduction): At what stage in the new online filing (CMS) do I declare that I am an entity within the meaning of paragraph 4?

To confirm that you are an entity within the meaning of Rule 6(4) EPC, simply tick the appropriate check box under Application in EPO Form 1001.


Article 9 Rules relating to Fees (refund of search fee): Where can I find the check box for requesting a refund of the search fee (box 40 on Form 1001)?

This feature is not present in the CMS. Although box 40 is still on the paper form, it is actually not used, as it is the examiner who makes the decision whether or not to refund the fee.

Error messages


No viewer available. The selected document cannot be displayed. This may be because the PDF viewer plug-in for your browser is not installed. Please refer to the online help for further assistance.

There is a known issue with Windows 64-bit systems running Internet Explorer 11. The Adobe Reader plug-in does not display content in this browser version. We recommend using a 32-bit Internet Explorer version or using the download link to review PDF files.


“Page cannot be displayed” – what does this mean?

IE11 has some incompatibility settings with Adobe Reader. We recommend that you use another browser or force IE11 to work in a lower version mode (IE10). This can be done in the developer tools (F12 developer tools, -> Browser Mode IE10).

The same message may appear if the smart card connection is not working. That might happen if the Gemalto software is not installed correctly and/or if the smart card is not inserted in the reader.

If you see this message, you should verify the settings for the SSL and TLS protocols, as shown in the screenshot below.

If you are not prompted to enter your smart card PIN when trying to connect to the CMS, you should check that the Gemalto software is installed correctly.

To access the CMS, the settings need to be updated as follows:

Go to Internet Options and select the Advanced tab.

Check that the options on your browser match the following screen:


Tools - templates – features


Can I import/export my address book into the new online filing (CMS)?

Yes. In the Address book tab, select Import from file or Export address book. Note: You must have Address book management enabled in your profile to access this tab.


Do I have to list individually in XML format all designated states I want to import from my patent management system.

No. You can simply use "Region/EP" to designate all states.


How can I create a blank template for an international application (Form PCT/RO/101) in new online filing (CMS)?

To create a blank template for an international application, you need to go to the Templates tab and create a "Form PCT/RO/101" from the New template section.


Can more than one person work on the same application at the same time in the new online filing (CMS)?

All registered users in the same organisation can all access each other’s applications. Multiple users can access and work in the same application as long as they do not edit the same window.

If more than one user edits the same window of the same application at the same time, the user who saves the window the first will have his/her update saved.


Updates


Will I be automatically notified when a new version is released?

Yes. When a new version is released, the EPO sends out a system message to all new online filing (CMS) users. A pop-up message will be automatically displayed the next time a user will login after the release.

Previous system messages can be consulted from the System messages tab.


Conversion issues (PDF, PatXML)


How can I convert my documents into PDF attachments for the new online filing (CMS)?

Within the document, go to File => Print and select the Amyuni PDF Converter from the list of printers, then click OK. You will need to give the resulting PDF file a name. The Amyuni PDF Converter is set up as a regular printer and can convert data from any software with printing ability.

You can also use any other PDF converter as long as the resulting PDFs comply with the Annex F standard. By using the Amyuni PDF converter, you can always be sure that your documents are Annex-F-compliant.


How can I create patent applications in XML?

You can use PatXML, a software tool which allows you to use Microsoft Word to create EP and PCT patent applications in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format (technical documents only).

XML applications will be accepted in version 1.11 of the new online filing (CMS).


What is the pre-conversion archive in the new online filing (CMS)?

In the pre-conversion archive you can add the documents (description, claims, abstract, drawings) that you have attached to your application in PDF or XML format in their original format (e.g. MS Word) in a .zip file.


Could you please provide me with the link to the new version of Amyuni PDF converter?

The new version 5.0.1.3 of the Amyuni PDF converter is password protected. Please contact Customer Services for a password.


Filing of sequence listings


How can I file nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence listings in accordance with Annex C/WIPO Standard ST.25 text format as part of an international application?

In the Documents tab, select the type Sequence listing – part of the international application and attach a sequence listing in accordance with Annex C/WIPO Standard ST.25 text format (*.app or *.txt) as part of an international application filed in electronic form, without attaching the sequence listing in *.pdf format.

The number of pages will be automatically set to zero, so that the sequence listing is not added to the number of pages to be paid.


Date of receipt of documents


What is my date of receipt?

The date of receipt is the date on which you complete the submission process.


Acknowledgment of receipt


Where can I find the acknowledgement of receipt?

A detailed acknowledgment of receipt is immediately available for download in the Documents tab of your application. You can also access it by clicking on the Application number hyperlink.


How soon will I receive my application number?

The application number is immediately displayed at the top of your application and is indicated on the acknowledgement of receipt.


My acknowledgement of receipt does not contain an application number. What should I do?

Very occasionally the allocation process may be delayed. If this is the case the application number will be communicated to you later.


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