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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

Decommissioning of online filing (CMS) with effect from 1 January 2022

June 30, 2021

The EPO has announced here that the existing web-based online filing service (also known as CMS) will be decommissioned with effect from 1 January 2022. It will be replaced by the EPO's new web-based filing service Online Filing 2.0, which was launched on 1 April 2021. The eOLF and web-form filing services are not affected by this announcement.

Additional information on the practical aspects of registration and rights administration for Online Filing 2.0 and data migration is available under dedicated FAQ's.

epi’s Online Communications Committee Chair, John Gray says “We are pleased to note that traditional eOLF is not being closed any time soon, but CMS has become a preferred EP/PCT filing solution for many users, especially in the disrupted working conditions of the pandemic. Thanks to work by the EPO and many pilot users, Online Filing 2.0 promises a (relatively) easy transition for existing CMS users, yielding improved usability and reliability. However, Online Filing 2.0 is still a work in progress, and CMS is closing with a very short ‘sunset period’. I recommend that users of CMS should begin to switch without delay to Online Filing 2.0, so that they can resolve any training and technical issues in good time before the end of the year.”

“Particularly allow plenty of time if you have address book data, templates etc. to open and export from CMS, if you have many users (who need to be assigned roles in the new system, one-by-one), or if you rely on CMS as an archive of past submissions (export these before they are lost).”

“Personally, I would also always advise users so be prepared with the back-up methods they will use in the case of any failure of their preferred EPO method. The various EPO solutions are explained here. Of course, fax remains available in theory, but is not always reliable. The limitations and peculiarities of each system should be noted and tried out from time to time.”

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