EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Notice from the European Patent Office dated 14 September 2020 concerning the expansion of electronic notification via the Mailbox in opposition proceedings
The EPO is committed to enabling electronic notification of all communications, to all parties and in all proceedings. It has further strengthened its efforts to achieve this goal given the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Electronic notification of a range of communications, summonses and decisions issued in proceedings before the EPO is provided through the EPO Mailbox. The Mailbox clearly displays the type of document received and its date of transmission and receipt. An integrated, configurable folder system facilitates file management. Moreover, the same safeguards apply to notification via the Mailbox as do to postal notification. An electronic document is therefore deemed to be notified on the tenth day after its transmission to the Mailbox (Rule 127(2) EPC).1
With effect from 1 December 2020, the EPO is considerably expanding the range of communications that can be electronically notified via the Mailbox, adding 70 communications relating to opposition proceedings. As a result, Mailbox users will be electronically notified of all communications in opposition proceedings, except for the transmission of the patent certificate if the patent is maintained in amended form (Rule 87 in conjunction with Rule 74 EPC).
For a list of the communications being added with effect from 1 December 2020, see epo.org/mailbox-additions. A full list of communications which can be notified electronically via the Mailbox is available at epo.org/mailbox-full-list.
For details on how to register for the Mailbox, and a tutorial on how to use it, go to epo.org/applying/online-services/mailbox.html.
1 For further details, see the Notice of the European Patent Office dated 30 March 2015, OJ EPO 2015, A36.