OJ EPO 2019, A19 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 20 February 2019 concerning the procedure for acknowledging receipt of international applications

1. Since 1 March 2011, the European Patent Office (EPO) as receiving Office under the PCT has had in place an automated system for producing the "receipt for documents" for (purported) international applications filed with it in paper form (by hand, post or fax) on or after that date. It therefore revised its procedure for acknowledging receipt of such applications with effect from that date. This notice replaces the notice from the European Patent Office dated 2 November 2010 concerning the revised procedure for acknowledging receipt of international applications filed in paper form (OJ EPO 2010, 642).

2. The procedure effective since 1 March 2011 is described in Section I below.

3. Information about how to obtain immediate acknowledgement of receipt from the EPO is given in Section II.

I. Automated procedure for acknowledging receipt of an international application filed in paper form

4. Upon receipt of such an application, the EPO automatically generates a revised version of its Form 1031 ("Receipt for documents") and issues it by post.

5. This form acknowledges receipt of each document making up the international application (e.g. PCT request, description, claims, etc.) and each accompanying item (e.g. power of attorney, data carrier, priority document, fee calculation sheet, etc.) in accordance with the requirements under Rule 35(2) in conjunction with Article 150(2) EPC. The number of sheets making up a given document is not verified.

6. The EPO issues Form 1031 without delay and as a rule within four working days as from receipt of the international application at one of its filing offices (OJ EPO 2007, Special edition No. 3, A.1). That period includes the international application's date of receipt, unless it is received on a working day after 16.45 hrs CET (Central European Time) or on a non-working day.

7. As the receipt for documents is generated automatically, applicants do not have to fill in and submit Form 1031.

8. Automated EPO Form 1031 is sent to the applicant or agent, as applicable, at the address provided in the PCT request form (PCT/RO/101).

9. Applicants are reminded that since 1 July 2006 international applications must be filed in one copy only, not three (OJ EPO 2006, 439).

10. If the application is filed by fax, in addition to points 4 to 9 above the following procedure applies:

11. In accordance with Rule 92.4(c) PCT, the EPO promptly notifies the applicant by fax if any part of his fax transmission is illegible or incomplete.

12. Applicants are further reminded that if they submit an international application by fax they must also file a confirmation copy. This should be a single copy of each document making up the application and each accompanying document. In addition, as indicated in the notes to the PCT request form (PCT/RO/101), the first page of Form PCT/RO/101 should be marked "CONFIRMATION COPY", followed by the date of the fax transmission. Lastly, it is recommended that the confirmation copy be accompanied by Form 1032, which has replaced Form 44121 and been available on the EPO website since 1 March 2011.

II. Alternative procedures

13. If the international application is filed online, receipt of the documents submitted is acknowledged electronically within the submission session (Article 11 of the decision of the President of the EPO dated 9 May 2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents, OJ EPO 2018, A45). Applicants wishing to receive acknowledgement of receipt directly upon filing are therefore advised to file online.


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