XI. FILING OF PATENT APPLICATIONS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS
XI.4 - Electronic signatures, data carriers and software to be used for the electronic filing of patent applications and other documents
Originally published in OJ EPO 2007, Special edition No. 3, 17:1
Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 12 July 2007 concerning the electronic signatures, data carriers and software to be used for the electronic filing of patent applications and other documents
The President of the European Patent Office, having regard to Rule 2 EPC and Rule 89bis.1 and 2 PCT, has decided as follows:
(1) The authenticity of documents filed electronically with the European Patent Office shall be confirmed by means of an enhanced electronic signature.
(2) The certificates of the electronic signature shall be required for the wrapping and enveloping of patent applications and other documents under Article 1 and Article 2(1) respectively of the decision dated 12 July 2007 concerning the electronic filing of patent applications and other documents.
(3) The European Patent Office shall accept certificates issued by the following certification authorities:
- European Patent Office (www.epoline.org)
- CERES (www.cert.fnmt.es/)
- VRK-FINSIGN (www.vaestorekisterikeskus.fi/)
- WIPO (www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/certificates.htm)
European patent applications and international (PCT) applications and other documents shall be filed electronically on CD-R discs conforming to the ISO 9660 standard or on DVD-R or DVD+R discs.
Original data formats
(1) Technical documents relating to a European or international patent application may be additionally attached to the application in the data format in which they were created, provided the files contain either plain ASCII text or they were created with one of the following word processing programs:
- Microsoft Word 97 and later releases
- Corel WordPerfect 6.1, 8 & 10 and later releases
- Writer of OpenOffice 2.0 and later releases (including the corresponding StarOffice products).
(2) Any objects originating from other programs may be embedded into documents being generated by the word processing programs mentioned in paragraph 1 as long as they can be viewed without loss of the information being contained in these objects.
(3) Technical documents in a format other than those mentioned in paragraph 1 may be attached in that format only if the applicant informs the European Patent Office at the time of filing where it can within reason acquire the relevant software.
Entry into force
This decision shall enter into force upon the entry into force of the revised text of the Convention in accordance with Article 8 of the Revision Act.
Done at Munich, 12 July 2007
1 See 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.