here is another reply from our expert:
The EPO is currently analyzing the use of ODF documents, for filing as well as for many other applications office-wide. It is difficult to give an estimation of when this format could be accepted, but it is not expected any time soon, as the impact on the EPO systems could be substantial.
All the best,
Sorry, been away for a while, so didn't see your reply
Well I assume that the EPO has finally done away with IBM OfficeVision for the AS/400, and that there are no longer any SMART documents in existence (my first word processor at the EPO), and that WordPerfect 5.1 running under a OS/2 Win3.1 emulation has now been phased out
, in which case I guess you guys must all be using various flavours of MSOffice as office productivity software. FYI, a plugin is being developed by a company external to Microsoft Corp that will allow MSOffice users to read ODF documents. I have no idea whether that plugin is operational yet.
You might also be interested to hear that the ODF has apparently been adopted as the official normalised document exchange format by the EU, Belgium, France and Denmark, so it might be a good idea for the EPO IT powers that be to urge adoption of this format along rather more expediently than perhaps they are inclined to do at the present time, before they get left behind / inundated with requests for support from member states, etc. Just a suggestion, of course