THE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT ORGANISATION,
Having regard to the European Patent Convention (hereafter referred to as "EPC") and in particular Article 33(1)(c) thereof,
On a proposal from the President of the European Patent Office,
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Patent Law,
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
Rule 147 of the Implementing Regulations to the EPC shall be amended as follows:
Paragraphs 1 to 3 shall be replaced by the following paragraphs 1 to 3:
"(1) The European Patent Office shall constitute, maintain and preserve files relating to all European patent applications and patents in electronic form.
(2) The President of the European Patent Office shall determine all necessary technical and administrative arrangements relating to the management of electronic files according to paragraph 1.
(3) Documents incorporated in an electronic file shall be considered to be originals. The initial paper version of such documents shall only be destroyed after expiry of at least five years. This preservation period starts at the end of the year in which the document was incorporated in the electronic file."
(1) This decision shall enter into force on 1 November 2016.
(2) The provisions mentioned in Article 1 of this decision shall apply to all European patent applications and patents, with the proviso that the 5-year preservation period stipulated in Rule 147(3) EPC does not expire before 31 December 2018, regardless of the date when the document was incorporated in the electronic file.
Done at Munich, 14 October 2015
For the Administrative Council
Date retrieved: 19 May 2021