An international application may be filed electronically with the EPO as receiving Office.
The EPO offers the following free-of-charge electronic filing tools:
– Online Filing (OLF), a software application
– Web-Form Filing
– Online Filing 2.0
In addition, applicants may use ePCT, an electronic filing tool offered by WIPO.
The EPO no longer accepts international applications filed with it as receiving Office using the PCT-SAFE filing software. This has been the case since 1 July 2020.
Filings using the OLF software may be made online or on electronic data carriers accepted by the EPO. At present, the data carriers accepted are CD-Rs conforming to ISO 9660, DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs.
All the means of electronic filing, except for the Web-Form Filing service, allow applicants to fill in the PCT request form (PCT/RO/101) directly in the electronic document formats that are accepted by the EPO as receiving Office.
If the documents making up the international application have been prepared by conversion from a different electronic document format (pre-conversion format), the applicant may submit the documents in that format too, preferably together with a statement that the international application in electronic form is a complete and accurate copy of the documents in pre-conversion format. Each pre-conversion document must be in a format that fulfils the requirements stipulated in OJ EPO 2021, A42. It is recommended that pre-conversion documents be submitted as ZIP files.
OJ EPO 2021, A42