Guidance and notes on the Directions given in relation to filing patent applications by electronic means
These notes are not part of the Directions. They are intended to provide background and additional information.
The Interpretation Act 1978 applies to these Directions. Therefore, all the definitions set out in the Act apply to these Directions. Further, amongst other things, generally any words importing the masculine gender include the feminine and words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular.
Where an electronic application is submitted which does not comply with the Directions, the comptroller may treat the document as not having been delivered (see section 124A(3) of the Act).
Applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the European Patent Convention
These Directions do not include provision for an international application for a patent to be filed electronically under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or for a European patent application to be filed under the European Patent Convention.
The conditions and requirements for the electronic filing of European patent applications were advertised by the EPO in OJEPO 11/2002 pp.543–548. More information about electronic filing of European applications External Link is available on the EPO website.
The conditions and requirements for the initial electronic filing of international applications under the PCT are given in Part 7 and Annex F of the PCT Administrative Instructions External Link available on the WIPO website. More information about electronic filing of PCT applications External Link is also available on the WIPO website.
The online filing service is only available to those who have registered with the Office and have the required system specification to run the appropriate software.
Details of the registration procedure for the online filing service can be obtained from the Office’s IT Helpdesk Room 3B07:
Intellectual Property Office
Tel: +44 (0)1633 813500
Fax: +44 (0)1633 814514
Details of versions of Microsoft Windows® supported by the Office will be issued to the user during the registration procedure, or on request.
The electronic address mentioned in paragraph 23 of the Directions is provided to the user by the Office as part of the registration process.
No paper confirmation is required for documents delivered online or on digital media. A paper document is required, for the purposes of identification, to accompany an electronic application delivered on digital media (see paragraph 25 of the Directions).
Details of the ST.25 standard, mentioned in paragraph 14 of the Directions, can be obtained from the WIPO website .
Payment of fees
The appropriate software requires the user to specify both a method of payment and a payment reference.
Where a fee has not been paid, or has been paid only in part, then the applicant will be notified by the Office of this fact.
Helpdesk support for online filing will be available between 08:30 and 17:00 hours Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.
Advance notice of any planned unavailability of online filing due to maintenance is given on the Patent Office website and by email to registered users.
Any queries about these Directions should be addressed to Andrew Hughes
Intellectual Property Office
Tel: +44(0)1633 814728
see http://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-direction-electronic-guide.htm for links