European Patent Office Uses PinkRoccade Smart Cards In Electronic Patent Application Process

The European Patent Office (EPO) and PinkRoccade have signed an agreement for large-scale use of PinkRoccade’s electronic signature technology in the patent application process. Over the next three years, the EPO intends to purchase up to 25 000 smart cards with electronic signature from PinkRoccade under the terms of the agreement. Electronic signatures will be used throughout Europe in the future.

The EPO’s epoline system is designed to offer an integrated and secure environment for electronic communication between the EPO, the applicants and their representatives and the national patent offices of the European Patent Organisation’s member states. The system supports electronic processing of all aspects of the patenting process. The electronic signature will be used for identification (signing) and submission of patent applications. In addition, applicants and their representatives will be able to access patent data and make the related payments. The electronic signature technology significantly accelerates and simplifies the patenting process, will reduce the costs involved in this and will make the process more secure and transparent.

PinkRoccade is the market leader in the world of electronic signature solutions. Electronic signatures based on PinkRoccade technology are legally equivalent to handwritten signatures under Dutch and European law.

The agreement between the EPO and PinkRoccade has a duration of three years. After extensive testing of the electronic signature technology with EPO patent applications, PinkRoccade will deliver the complete production system to the EPO in April 2004.

The European Patent Office is an international organisation which grants patents for up to 28 European countries in a centralised procedure. Its approximately 6 000 staff are located in Munich (headquarters), The Hague, Berlin, and Vienna. In 2003, the EPO received about 160 000 patent applications. The EPO’s objective is to support innovation, competitiveness and economic growth for the benefit of the citizens of Europe.

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