Report of the Online Communications Committee
J. Gray (GB), Chair
Further to our report in issue 1/2022, OCC members remain busy in various ways. Our annual meeting (online again this year) took place on 15 June 2022. Personally, I attended the Main SACEPO meeting on 23 June and will join the epi presidium in their bilateral meeting with the EPO president, in July.
Central Fee Payment
SACEPO was told that the existing online fee payment system will be turned off on or around 10 September 2022. Users have limited time to switch to using the new Central Payment platform. Unfortunately, until 10 September automatic debit orders can only be managed in the old system: i.e. zero sunset/sunrise period for some users!
Unitary Patent designation procedures and IT infrastructure
OCC has been pressing for early access and testing of the online filing procedures relating to the request for Unitary Effect. We consider it important that users can test it and adapt their procedures and software robustly, before the new regime is legally force. I am pleased to note that EPO launched demo versions of the UP forms in eOLF and OLF 2.0 on 16 June 2022. OCC’s Tassilo Meindl is leading a group of OCC members looking into the functionality of these systems as soon as possible. Members responsible for pending applications close to grant should do the same, and raise any concerns with the EPO and copy OCC at the address below.
New User Area ("MyEPO Portfolio")
This new user portal MyEPO Portfolio was launched for general use in May 22. On 2 June, one of our members highlighted a bug in the mailbox function of MyEPO Portfolio. This was communicated from epi to the EPO and the system was placed out of service as a precaution. Together with OCC deputy chair David Brophy and OCC member Tassilo Meindl, I met with the EPO experts to understand the origin of this bug, the nature of the fix and measures to minimise the risk of such bugs in future. Based on these discussions, epi is satisfied that this incident happily had very limited consequence and MyEPO Portfolio can be reopened with confidence. Users directly affected by the bug are being contacted directly by the EPO. We commend the swift action of the EPO and their openness to discussing the matter with epi.
Interacting with the OCC
Thanks always to the members who report to us the random issues they face with EPO IT systems. You can submit issues and information directly to the OCC Chair at OCC@patentepi.org.