Brussels, 10 Dec 2003
At the annual epoline conference in Barcelona on 9 December, Dr Ingo Kober, president of the European Patent Office (EPO), announced a 70 euro reduction in the cost of registering a patent via the improved epoline filing system.
The enhanced epoline service, he said, will facilitate the submission, monitoring and searching of patent information at national, European and international level, making it more accessible to both intellectual property professionals and the general public.
Furthermore, the EPO aims to set up a new world standard for the e-filing of patent applications. Under the motto 'draft once - file everywhere' a newly developed XML-format should allow customers to save time, paper and money when filing a patent application.
Together with its international partners, namely the United States patent and trademark office (USPTO), the Japan patent office (JPO) and the world intellectual property organisation (WIPO), the EPO has established an open standard that will allow customers to re file the same application with any patent office that accepts international e-filing.
The EPO hopes to facilitate adoption of the epoline e-filing system as a global standard by providing the system and its own expertise to patent offices around the world. Epoline is already the accepted standard in France, Finland and Spain, as well as at the WIPO and USPTO. The system is in its trial phase in the UK, and Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Czech Republic are expected to begin using epoline in 2004.
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