India is the newest country to join the WIPO Digital Access Service or DAS System. The WIPO-India Cooperation Agreement was established on March 31, 2018. It was established between the Indian Patent Office (IPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Therefore, we must learn about this new DAS system.
What is the Digital Access Service (DAS) System?
The Digital Access Service system or DAS is an electronic system that allows easy, fast and secure transfer of priority documents among participating intellectual property offices. The first office, now the IPO will act as the depositing office. It will happen by uploading certified patent and industrial design application copies (priority documents). The copies will also include International Patent Applications under PCT. The applicant must request the IPO to make the copies available to the second patent office. It must be where he/she wishes to file a patent application. Presently, 20 patent offices worldwide are a member of the WIPO DAS.
The participating offices as mentioned before are clearly defined in the Framework Provisions for the Digital Access Service.
Depositing Office: (paragraph 10 of the Framework Provisions): The Office, which is usually acting as the Office of first filing, allows applications to be made available to the Service;
Accessing Office: (paragraph 12 of the Framework Provisions): The Office, acting as an Office of second filing, allows the applicant to request that a priority document be retrieved from the Service instead of having to file a certified copy.
How will applicants from India use the Digital Access Service (DAS) system?
Indian applicants have to follow the below-mentioned pathway to deposit a priority document:
- The applicant has to request the Patent Office to ask for storing certified priority documents copy to the WIPO DAS.
- According to entry no. 49 of The First Schedule of the Patents Rule, 2003 the request for priority document deposition has to be submitted with relevant fee.
- For Designs, the request must be made in Form 16 along with the relevant fee as stated in The First Schedule of The Design Rules, 2001.
- Making a request is eligible even with a new application.
- Applicants or authorized agents must make sure that they provide a valid, functional and correct email address.
- Once the applicant submits the request at the Depositing Office, he/ she will then receive an access code for authorization through email. The applicant has to share this access code along with a letter. The letter must include the patent application number to the accessing office to retrieve those certified priority document from DAS.
What are the advantages of the Digital Access Service (DAS) system?
Some of the salient advantages of the DAS system are:
- It is a fast, secure system that allows hassle-free adding and receiving of priority documents within the Depositing and Accessing Office.
- The entire process is online thus there are lesser chances of manual mistakes.
- Though online, the entire process is safe and secure with WIPO being the host and administrator.
- The fee to be submitted is equitable. The applicant doesn’t have to pay for multiple sheets or copies of priority documents. Also, he/she is not charged for using the system.
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