OJ EPO SE 4/2014, p5 - Arrangements for deposit accounts (ADA)

CONTENTS

1. General provisions

2. Formalities for opening an account

3. Administration of the accounts

4. Payments

5. Conditions of operating the account

6. Debiting the account

7. Revocation of a debit order

8. Automatic debiting procedure

9. Online Fee Payment via Online services

10. Closing the account

11. Debiting annual subscriptions of members of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

1. General provisions

Under Articles 5(2) and 7(2) of its Rules relating to Fees (RFees), the EPO makes available, for any interested natural or legal person (or bodies equivalent to a legal person under the law applicable to them), deposit accounts for paying fees, expenses and prices to be levied by the Office.

2. Formalities for opening an account

A deposit account may be opened upon request and provision of all the necessary particulars about the person, occupation and address of the prospective account holder. This is done by

(a) completing and submitting the online request form on the EPO website under https://forms.epo.org/service-support/ordering/deposit-order-form.html or

(b) sending a signed request, on paper, by fax or by e-mail, containing the above-mentioned particulars, to the EPO as follows:

European Patent Office
Vienna sub-office
Dir. 5.4.3
PO Box 90
1031 Vienna
AUSTRIA
Fax +43 (0)1 52126-2495
csc@epo.org

3. Administration of the accounts

Deposit accounts are kept in euro only, at the EPO headquarters in Munich.

4. Payments

4.1 Once the deposit account has been opened, its number is communicated to the holder, who must then make an initial payment commensurate with his requirements and the intended frequency of replenishment, so as to ensure that there are sufficient funds in the account.

4.2 Payments to replenish deposit accounts must be made into an EPO bank account, giving the number of the EPO deposit account concerned in the reference field of the bank transfer. They are credited to the deposit account with the date on which the payment is actually entered in the EPO bank account. They may be made only in the currency in which the EPO bank account concerned is held. If made into an EPO account held in a currency other than euro, they are converted into euro at the exchange rate pertaining on the payment date and the resulting euro amount is credited to the deposit account.

4.3 Repayments of deposit account balances can only be remitted to the deposit account holder. For this purpose, the deposit account holder must submit to the EPO a signed request containing all bank details necessary for the transfer.

5. Conditions of operating the account

5.1 The deposit account number must be indicated whenever payments are made.

5.2 The holder must ensure that the account contains sufficient funds at all times. Article 7(1) RFees, the ten-day fail-safe provision of Article 7(3) (a) and (b) RFees second half sentence, and Article 7(4) RFees apply mutatis mutandis to replenishment payments.

5.3 Debit orders are processed by the EPO in the following order of priority[ 1 ]:

(a) payments by automatic debit order,

(b) debit orders submitted online, whether using the EPO's Online Filing software or PCT-SAFE or by means of Online Fee Payment via Online services

(c) all other debit orders, including those filed in accordance with point 6.6,

Subject to this, debit orders are booked in ascending order of application number ("PCT" before "EP"), unless otherwise indicated.

5.4 Registered online users can inspect their transactions and download their statements via Online Fee Payment[ 2 ]. Other registered account holders are sent a detailed statement of account several times a month by post. Any errors noted must be notified to the EPO without delay.

6. Debiting the account

6.1 Subject to point 11, deposit accounts may be debited only in respect of fees, expenses and prices to be levied by the EPO.

6.2 Debiting occurs on the basis of a debit order signed by the account holder.

This may be

- a debit order for individual fees, or

- an automatic debit order filed under the automatic debiting procedure[ 3 ] for a specific European patent application and authorising the debiting of fees automatically as the proceedings progress,

and may be filed

- by means of EPO Online Filing, on EPO Forms 1001E (request for grant) and 1200E (entry into the European phase),

- by means of EPO Online Filing or PCT-SAFE, on the PCT Fee Calculation Sheet annexed to Form PCT/RO/101 (PCT Request), in which case the signature requirement for the debit order is considered met if the Request is duly signed,

- by means of Online Fee Payment via Online services[ 4 ], in which case authorisation by smart card takes the place of a signature,

- by means of EPO Online Filing using EPO Form 1038E (letter accompanying subsequently filed items),

- on paper, in which case the use of EPO Form 1010 or PCT Form PCT/RO/101 or IPEA/401 is mandatory,

- by fax, in which case the use of EPO Form 1010 or PCT Form PCT/RO/101 or IPEA/401 is mandatory, and the forms should be sent to the EPO's central fax number in Munich[ 5 ],

No paper confirmation of a debit order should be sent.

6.3 The debit order must be clear, unambiguous and unconditional. It must contain the particulars necessary to identify the purpose of the payment, including the amount of each fee or expense concerned, and must indicate the number of the account which is to be debited. Paper debit orders must be filed using the PCT/EPO standard forms (see point 6.2 above). Provided there are sufficient funds in the deposit account on the date of receipt of the debit order by the EPO, that date will be considered as the date on which the payment is made.

For payment orders submitted by means of EPO Online Filing or Online Fee Payment, the deposit account holder may however specify that a payment order is to be executed at a later date than the submission date. In that case, the payment date is deemed to be the execution date specified. Payment orders may be executed up to 40 days after the submission date.

6.4 If, on the date of receipt of the debit order or on the date specified under point 6.3, 2nd paragraph, above, the account does not contain sufficient funds to cover the total fee payments indicated for an application (shortfall), the debit order is not carried out and the holder is informed accordingly by post, fax or e-mail. The payment is considered to have been made on the date on which the deposit account is duly replenished.

6.5 If the EPO receives a debit order by post after expiry of a period for payment, then under Article 7(3) and (4) RFees that period is considered to have been observed if evidence is provided to the EPO that the person who made the payment

(a) despatched at a post office in a contracting state, within the period for making the payment, a letter bearing the address of the EPO containing the order, provided the account contained sufficient funds on the date on which the time limit expired, and

(b) paid a surcharge of 10% on the relevant fee or fees, but not exceeding euro 150; no surcharge is payable if the letter was despatched not later than ten days before expiry of the period for payment.

Such letters should be sent by registered mail for the purpose of securing evidence.

6.6 If a European patent application is filed under Article 75(1)(b) EPC with a competent national authority, a debit order for fees which can be paid on filing may be included with the application.

6.7 If a debit order under point 6.6 is received by the EPO after expiry of the period for paying the fees, such period is considered to have been observed if evidence is available or is supplied to the EPO that the debit order was filed with the competent national authority together with the application, provided the account contained sufficient funds on the date on which the period expired.

6.8 Where a debit order under point 6.6 (not being an automatic debit order) is received by the competent national authority before the date on which an increase in the amounts of fees pursuant to Article 2 RFees takes effect but is received by the EPO on or after that date, the date of receipt at the competent national authority is considered to be the date on which the payment is made, provided the account contained sufficient funds on that date.

6.9 For international applications filed with the EPO as receiving Office via a national office of an EPC contracting state pursuant to Article 151, second sentence, EPC and Article 75(2)(b) EPC, points 6.6 and 6.7 apply.

7. Revocation of a debit order

A debit order may be revoked by signed written notice from the account holder, on paper or by fax[ 6 ], giving the number of the deposit account, the number of the application or patent and each fee or expense concerned. The notice of revocation is not effective if received by the EPO after the date on which the debit order is received.

8. Automatic debiting procedure

Account holders may have their accounts debited automatically on the basis of an automatic debit order. The conditions applicable, and in particular the types of proceedings and fees covered, are laid down in the Arrangements for the automatic debiting procedure (AAD) [ 7 ].

9. Online Fee Payment via Online services

Debit orders may also be filed online by means of Online Fee Payment via Online services, under the conditions laid down in the Arrangements for Online Fee Payment via Online services[ 8 ].

10. Closing the account

10.1 A deposit account may be closed at the signed written request, on paper or by fax, of the holder or his successors in title. Successors in title must provide the EPO with documentary proof of their entitlement.

10.2 In addition, the EPO reserves the right to close any account which fails to comply with point 5.2.

10.3 On closure of the account, the credit balance is refunded by bank transfer to the holder or his successors in title, once the necessary account details have been supplied in writing.

11. Debiting annual subscriptions of members of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

11.1 Under the Administrative Agreement of 5 April 1993 between the European Patent Office and the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (epi) [ 9 ], deposit accounts may be debited with epi members' annual subscriptions as specified below upon submission of a debit order signed by the epi and based on one or more direct debiting mandates issued to the epi by the account holder and not submitted to the EPO.

11.2 Debit orders under point 11.1 are carried out with effect from the fixed debiting dates of 25 February and 25 June each year only; Rule 134(1) EPC on the extension of time limits does not apply. They are transmitted to the EPO on a data carrier specified by the EPO and comprise, in one overall sum, all annual subscriptions to be debited from a deposit account. The date of payment is that on which the account is debited.

11.3 If, after priority has been given to fees or expenses in respect of EPO publications or services, a deposit account does not contain sufficient funds on the debiting date to cover the epi debit order, the order is not carried out and is returned to the epi.

11.4 Points 5.3, 6.2 to 6.9 and 7 do not apply to debit orders under point 11.1.

 

[ 1 ] As a rule, payments under point 5.3 (a) and (b) are processed by the EPO within two to three working days after the decisive payment date or the receipt of the debit order and those under (c) are processed within four to five working days after the date of receipt of the debit order.

[ 2 ] For details of debits and other facilities available via Online Fee Payment, see point 9 ADA and Annex B in this supplementary publication.

[ 3 ] See point 8 ADA and the Arrangements for automatic debiting in Annex A.1 in this supplementary publication, and the information from the EPO concerning the automatic debiting procedure in Annex A.2 in this supplementary publication.

[ 4 ] See footnote 2.

[ 5 ] The EPO's central fax number in Munich: +49 89 2399 4465.

[ 6 ] To the Munich central fax number - see footnote 5. For revocation of an automatic debit order, see point 12 AAD Annex A.1 in this supplementary publication.

[ 7 ] See Annex A.1 in this supplementary publication. See also Annex A.2 in this supplementary publication for information from the EPO concerning the automatic debiting procedure.

[ 8 ] See Annex B in this supplementary publication.

[ 9 ] See Annex C.1 in this supplementary publication.

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EPC Articles

EPC Implementing Rules

EPC Rules relating to Fees