World Intellectual Property Organization

Description of the Service

This page describes the main procedures to be followed by applicants and offices and the features of the DAS system that support those procedures.

The system described here is the second major version of DAS, which was agreed at the Third Session of the DAS Working Group held from July 12 to 14, 2011.  The DAS 2.0 system includes transitional functions so that offices that still operate under the previous system are able to operate with the new system, with minimal changes.The description of the previous system is also available for reference.

 

Changes in DAS, New Route

The new DAS system, available from July 2012, contains the following new features and functionality.

Extension

  1. In addition to patents, the Service is extended to priority documents relating to other types of IP rights, including trademarks, designs and utility models. 
  2. Offices will be able to “opt-in” for each type of IP right separately.
  3. DAS 2.0 supports color, grayscale and large-sized images, initially in JPEG and TIFF formats for industrial designs and trademarks.
  4. Based on bilateral technical arrangements between a participating Office and the IB, DAS 2.0 may deliver the requested priority documents of a specific type of IP application to the Office on paper or on DVD until the Office is ready to receive them via the agreed automated transfer mechanism.  This process will be handled manually by staff at the IB and is not a functional requirement for the system.

Improvements

  1. The previous Routes A, B and C are replaced by a single route based on a modified version of the “Route D” proposal made by the delegation of Japan at the third Working Group.  
  2. The main objectives of the new route are to simplify the system from the point of view of the applicant, to encourage more use of the system, and to provide the required levels of security and confidence in the system for offices and applicants.
  3. The main security mechanism under the new route is the access code, which will be generated by the OFF or the IB, transmitted by the applicant to the OSF, and used to authorize access to the document by the OSF.
  4. The Office Portal is implemented as a simplified mechanism for offices with low volumes of transactions to participate in the system.
  5. The Applicant Portal is revised to: 
    • Provide account-based management of all priority documents related to one user (the applicant or their representative).
    • Provide information to the applicant about the retrieval and success/failure status of all types of IP applications.
    • Under the new route, applicants are not required to set Access Control Lists (ACLs) except for transition cases where OSF have not upgraded their systems to use access codes.
    • This means that the Applicant Portal is primarily for informational purposes, and it is not essential for an applicant to create an account and authorize access for OSF for every document.
  6. The concept of priority documents being made “publicly available” via the service is removed.

Transition Requirements

For a period of time, there will be offices which are still operating under the Routes A and C (for patent documents only) while other offices are operating under the new route.  These modes of operation must co-exist for a period of time until all offices have upgraded their procedures and their IT systems.  The transition period must be as simple as possible from the point of view of the applicant.

This is achieved mainly by allowing OFF and OSF to continue using the existing technical systems for Route A and C during the transition period, but only for patent documents.  As more offices move to the new route, the system will become progressively simpler for the offices and applicants.

  • The OFF needs to supply the type of IP right and the application date with every document.  If the OFF does not supply the type of IP right, the document will be assumed to be a patent document.  For the transition period where the OFF does not supply the application date, the system will operate without validation of the date for those documents.
  • The OFF also needs to generate an access code and include the access code in the metadata used to register a document with DAS.  If the OFF does not generate the access code, this will be done by the IB.
  • The addition of documents for new types of IP rights will be on an “opt-in” basis for each OFF.  Therefore, each OFF can decide if and when it will offer the DAS service for each type of IP right.
  • The OSF will need to modify its procedures to accept the access code from the applicant and update its IT system to provide the access code when requesting documents from the system.  During the transition period, OSF will be able to retrieve documents (for patents only) from the system without an access code, but only if the applicant has set an ACL which allows them access.
  • The OSF will also need to update its IT system to provide the type of IP right and the priority date with every request.  During the transition period, the system will accept requests without the type of IP right or the priority date, but for patent documents only.

Security Mechanism

When fully operational, the security mechanism in DAS 2.0 will be ONLY based on the Access Code which will be generated by the OFF or the IB and given to the OSF by the applicant. All participating Offices might not be able to migrate to the new Route at the same time and therefore a transitional period is needed during which applicants will need to set an Access Control List (ACL) for each document to specify which OSF can retrieve the document. After the transition period, the new Route will become operational and the ACL will be discontinued.  

The main element to understand in the transition period is the security mechanism and the interaction of the ACL and the access code. 

Access is granted based on the ACL or the access code, or both, as shown in the diagram below. The following diagram is applicable only to the transition period.

das_security

Note, this logic does not apply to Trademark documents, for which access is always granted to any OSF.

This implies that the applicant will need to use the Applicant Portal to set an ACL, during the transition period, for all OSF that have not yet upgraded their IT systems to supply the access code.

 

Procedures

Register a Priority Document

The purpose of this procedure is to register a priority document with the DAS system so that:

  • Either the document is stored in the system, or a link to an external document is stored in the DAS system.
  • The priority application is registered in DAS.
  • The applicant has been given an access code.

The applicant has previously filed an application at the OFF. The copy of that application will become a priority document at another office.

Steps

  1. The applicant requests the OFF that they wish a priority document to be registered with the DAS system. This notification can happen in different ways, depending on the procedures of the OFF. The applicant may submit the request when filing the original application, or they may file a separate request with the OFF. An OFF might not require a request from the applicant to register a priority document with the DAS system.
  2. The OFF may check the applicant’s right to file abroad, and make other checks as necessary.
  3. The OFF supplies the mandatory data elements in the registration request including IP type, priority office code, priority office code, priority application number, priority application filing date and access code it is generated by the OFF. If the access code is to be generated by WIPO-DAS, the applicant’s email address must be provided as part of the registration metadata.
  4. The OFF makes the document available to the DAS system in one of the following ways: 
    • The OFF uploads a copy of the document to the DAS system or sends information to the DAS system about the availability of the document, using the PCT-EDI protocol and the “add-entry” transaction.
    • The OFF sends information to the DAS system about the availability of the document using the TDA protocol and a new “dasRegister” transaction.
    • The OFF uploads a copy of the document to the DAS system, using the Office portal. 
  5. The OFF or the DAS system notifies the applicant of a unique “access code” that will be needed by the OSF to retrieve the document: 
    • if the OFF supports the functionality, the OFF generates the access code, sends it to the applicant, and notifies the DAS system of the access code as part of the registration metadata.
    • for an OFF that is not equipped to generate access codes, the DAS system generates the code, stores it with the document, and notifies the applicant by email. In this case, the applicant’s email address must be provided as part of the registration metadata.

Variations

  • In the case of trademark document, no access code is generated.
  • The OFF may also decide that all applications of a certain type (e.g. all Trademark applications) are systematically made available to the DAS, whether or not this is requested by the applicant.
  • Based on a bilateral agreement with the IB, the OFF may submit documents to the DAS system in paper format. In this case, the IB will take the role of the OFF in the basic flow above (register document, supply metadata, generate Access Code).
  • Some Offices may have technical constraints in their IT system or cannot be uploaded using the Office portal which would not accept a large-sized document (e.g. 50 MB). In this context, an over-sized document will be sent the IB on CD/DVD.
  • If the OFF makes a registration without indicating the priority application filing date, the system will reject the registration request. This is to enable the cross-check of the priority filing date by DAS at retrieval of the document.

Transition Variations

OFF currently operating under Route A or C will continue to use the system in the same way, until their IT systems have been upgraded. The following transition assumptions will be made:

  • Only patent documents may be uploaded by such offices, and the system will automatically set the type of IP right to “patent”.
  • During the transitional period, the system continues to allow OFFs to make registrations without indicating the filing date (in which case, the filing date part of the check by DAS at OSF step needs to be bypassed).
  • If the OFF does not generate the access code, it must supply the applicant’s email address so that the IB can generate the access code and send it to the applicant. 

Other System Functions

  • Documents for the following IP rights will be supported: Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Utility Models.
  • When a document is uploaded or made available, the following metadata must be provided and stored in the system: office of first filing, application number and application filing date. Optionally, the applicant waiver date (e.g. form SB39 for the USPTO) may be provided and stored in the system.
  • The system must support documents with colour and greyscale images in JPEG or TIFF format for Industrial Designs and for Trademarks.
  • Initially, the TDA protocol will only be available for Patents. This means that documents for other types of IP right can only be uploaded into the system using the PCT-EDI protocol or the Office portal. The TDA protocol needs to be extended to support other IP rights in the future.
  • If the applicant’s email address is not available, the OFF may provide the registered post mail address to the DAS system so that the access code would be sent to the applicant on paper.
  • Access code may be generated by the OFF or by the IB. This is an option to be chosen by the OFF.  To reduce errors, a short, consistent format of code is required from all OFFs. The code generated should consist of exactly 4 alphanumeric characters, case insensitive.  However, although any alphanumeric characters are permitted in order to provide compatibility with codes already used by USPTO, it is strongly recommended that new implementations should use only upper-case hexadecimal characters (0 digits: 0 to 9) and only 6 upper-case letters A to F in order to avoid the risk of transcription errors as a result of characters of similar appearance. This is in compliance with ISO 7064.
  • The Access Code will be generated only once per document. Once issued, it will not be changed in its lifetime; this would avoid introducing additional administrative procedures at the OFF and the OFF to deal with changes of access codes.
  • If there is any change of the priority filing date, the depositing Office should send an overwriting update to DAS by new dasRegister operation of the TDA protocol or add-entry of the PCT-EDI protocol. Details of the new dasRegister operation are to be specified and added to the TDA protocol through a new change request. It is assumed that there will be only very rare cases for which the update of the priority date might occur after the document is already retrieved accessing Offices. Therefore notifying the Offices of the document replacement change may be handled case by case as part of the system operation monitoring and follow-up.
  • The date of registration of the document in the new Route becomes the date of availability of the document, which is stated in the certificate of availability generated by DAS.
  • Documents containing color image(s) can be registered in DAS, regardless of the type of IP applications.

Issues

  1. For Offices which implement the access code generation, it is recommended to make the DAS registration before communicating the access code to the applicant. If these two operations are performed in the reverse order, there will be situation where some applicants may fail to associate the priority documents with their WIPO account because of the delay in communication of DAS registrations between the OFF and DAS.
  2.  As recommended by the DAS Working Group, the concept of priority document being made “ publicly available” via DAS is removed in respect of access permissions. At present, some Offices provide the application publication date to the DAS system as part of the registration metadata. In the future, if the publication date is provided by the OFF, it will be stored in the system but will not be used.
  3. Some Offices maintain their own digital libraries of priority documents. But access to the relevant priority document is granted on the basis of a successful cross-check of the priority filing dates performed by DAS in addition to the verification of the access code. As the priority filing date is an important element used to authorize access to the documents and if correction of the priority filing date is made by the OFF after registration in DAS, there should be a provision for Offices to update the record held in DAS.
  4. There will be cases for which access codes have been generated by the OFF as Route C Office but the applicant would use them to register the corresponding priority documents via the applicant portal after the Office has migrated to the new Route. In this context, DAS would consider these applications as unknown and display a warning message indicating the reason as follows: 
    • The access code could be incorrect
    • The application number could be incorrect
    • The access code could be generated by the OFF under Route C and the applicant had not registered the application prior to the Office’s migration to the new Route on [MIGRATION DATE]. To this end, the system should record the migration date of each Route C Office, noting that these cases would not apply to Route A Offices. The warning message should advise the applicant to request the priority document to be registered with DAS again by the OFF

Note: no access code is generated for Trademark documents

 

Retrieve a Priority Document 

The purpose of this procedure is to retrieve a priority document from the DAS system. An Office of Second Filing will access the system using the TDA or PCT-EDI protocol or the Office portal, specify the data to identify a priority document, and retrieve a copy of the document from the DAS system.

The applicant has filed an application at the OSF and has notified the OSF of the priority office, priority application number, priority application filing date and access code to retrieve the copy of a priority application via the DAS system.

Steps

  1. The applicant requests the OSF that a priority document is retrieved via the DAS system. This request can happen in different ways, depending on the procedures of the office. The applicant supplies an access code with the request. An OFF might not require a request from the applicant to retrieve a priority document via DAS.
  2. The OSF requests to retrieve a copy of the priority document via the DAS system. The OSF supplies the following data in the request: priority office code, IP type, priority application number, priority application filing date and access code: 
    • If the OSF uses the TDA protocol, the request is sent using a “pdRequest” transaction.
    • If the OSF uses the PCT-EDI protocol, the request is sent using a “get-document” transaction.
    • If the OSF uses the Office portal, the request is submitted as a download operation.
  3. The system checks the availability of the document and the validity of the access code. If the identifying data or the access code are not correct, the system returns an error message with the reason for the rejection of the request (e.g. “Application number and access code do not match”, etc)
  4. The system retrieves the priority document: 
    • If the OFF has registered the document using the TDA protocol, the system retrieves the document from the digital library of the OFF using a “pdRequest” transaction. It is the responsibility of the OFF to check the matching application filing date and to provide the appropriate response.
    • If the OFF has uploaded the document using the PCT-EDI protocol or the Office portal, the system retrieves the document from its own digital library if the application filing date provided by the OSF matches the record in DAS. If the application filing date does not match the record in DAS, the system returns an error message with the reason for the rejection of the request (e.g. “ application number and filing date do not match”).
    • If the OFF has registered the document with a link to the external document held at the OFF using the PCT-EDI protocol, the system retrieves the document from the digital library of the OFF using the “get-document” transaction. It is the responsibility of the OFF to check the matching application filing date and to provide the appropriate response.
  5. The system delivers the document to the OSF in response to one of the above requesting transaction in step 2.

Variations

  • In the case of trademark documents, there is no access code. Any OSF can access any trademark document that has been registered with the DAS system.
  • For Patents, Industrial Designs and Utility Models priority documents, permission must be granted on the basis of the access code only, as described in the section relating to Security. There is a possibility that old access codes (a maximum of 10-digit alphanumeric characters) may be received from applicants by OSFs

Transition Variations

An OSF that has not updated its systems may be obliged to accept a Utility Model or Industrial Design document as priority for a Patent application (other scenarios are also possible). In this case, the OSF may contact the IB and request a copy of the document or arrange a bilateral agreement with the IB so that Utility Model priority documents are sent on paper or DVD.

OSF currently operating under Route A or C will need to update their systems for retrieving documents with the DAS system in the following ways:

  • Provide all identifying data when requesting the document. Required data will be: priority office code, IP type, priority application number, priority application filing date, access code.
  • If the OSF has not updated its systems to provide the necessary data, only patent documents may be retrieved.

Some depositing Offices (e.g. the Japanese Patent Office) may offer the service to make available a foreign priority document held in a national application. It is necessary to register the national application number and country code that holds the priority document in addition to the priority office code, priority application number, priority filing date. This is useful if the actual Office of first filing is not a DAS participating Office. This arrangement implies that a single priority application could, in principle, be registered with DAS more than once. As such, multiple valid access codes would be issued and recorded sufficiently to determine the appropriate OFF. In the unlikely event of codes for the same application from different Offices matching, DAS should supply the document by preference directly from the actual OFF (if the code matches the OFF code) or alternatively from the Office which first registered the application with that code.

Other System Functions

  • Documents for the following IP rights will be supported: Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Utility Models.
  • The system supports documents with colour and grayscale images in JPEG, TIFF or PDF format for Industrial Designs and for Trademarks.
  • Documents are transmitted to the accessing Offices as received from the depositing Office. But some Offices in their capacity of OSF may have the technical constraint to accept the document in black and white Tiff format only. In this case, DAS will perform a color or grayscale to black and white conversion with possible loss of quality and it would be useful to provide a conversion indicator in the transmission protocol to notify the accessing Office of such cases.
  • Initially, the TDA protocol will only be available for Patents. This means that documents for other types of IP right can only be requested from the system using the PCT-EDI protocol or the Office portal. The TDA protocol needs to be extended to support other IP rights in the future.
  • Some Offices may have technical constraints in their IT system or the TDA implementation which would not accept a large-sized document (e.g. 50 MB). In this context, an over-sized document will be delivered to the requesting Office on CD/DVD as it works at present (including the DAS system itself).
  • Distinct error messages make it easier for the Offices to respond to any error that may occur due to any mismatch combination of priority application number, access code and priority filing date.

Diagram

das_retrieve

Note: the access code is not required and not checked for Trademark documents.

Applicant Portal

The DAS 2.0 Applicant Portal is optional and requires the creation of a WIPO standard user account. This is simply intended only for service usage tracking purposes.

The Applicant accesses the DAS Applicant Portal to perform some maintenance functions on their portfolio of documents in the DAS system:

  • Associate and de-associate documents with a WIPO account.
  • View information about documents, including access and availability status information.
  • Produce an availability certificate.
  • View and manage notifications relating to retrieval attempts by accessing Offices

Before using the Applicant Portal:

  • The applicant has created a WIPO Account and is logged into the system.  
  • Priority documents have been uploaded or registered with the DAS system, and the applicant is in possession of an Access Code for each document.

Features of the Applicant Portal

Associate Documents with a WIPO Account

  1. The Applicant enters the priority office, IP type, priority application number, priority application filing date, and DAS access code. All fields are mandatory.
  2. The system validates the information given and checks to see whether a priority document with the corresponding data is available. 
  3. If there are any errors, the system gives the applicant the opportunity to correct the data.
  4. If the data correctly matches a registered priority document, the system associates that document with the WIPO account. A document can be associated with multiple WIPO accounts to manage situations where there are multiple applicants for one application.
  • In principle, any users of the Applicant Portal can associate the priority document with his account as long as he gives the correct access code. The DAS 2.0 Applicant Portal does not provide access to confidential document content or data. In this context, the new access code is considered as a kind of check digit rather than a password control code used to manage access authorizations to priority documents as it is in DAS 1.0. Support will be provided by the IB to deal with conflict resolutions and identify abusive use of the Access Code by an unauthorized person.
  • The provisioning and management of WIPO account is served by another WIPO online service which is not part of DAS and is available at the URL https://pct.wipo.int/wipoaccounts/ePCT/public/register.jsf. The password used for each WIPO account is to be defined by the applicant and it is different from the access code, including its formats. Details of the WIPO account are visible after login. In particular, it includes a public customer ID which uniquely identifies the account and which can be shared with other business partners by the account holder. How the account holders notify each other of their ID is to be communicated outside DAS (e.g. through email).

De-associate Documents with a WIPO Account

This function is required to deal with assignment of rights so that the account holder would be able to remove the priority document from his account.

  1. The Applicant selects a priority document and the option to de-associate the document.
  2. The system prompts for his confirmation.  
  3. The applicant confirms the de-association and document is removed from his account.

In case of assignment of rights, the access code may be communicated by the current applicant to the new applicant, who can in turn associate the document with his own account.

View Document Access History and Availability Status

  1. The Applicant selects a priority document and selects the option to view the document access history and availability status.
  2. The system displays the document data (application number, date, etc), the date of availability when the document was made available via TDA or if the document was uploaded via PCT-EDI or the Office portal, the access history including the Offices which have accessed the document and the dates of access or the Offices which have attempted to access the document and the reason of failure (e.g. application number and filing date mismatch). It is important that the document content is not visible.

Create and/or Change Access Control Lists (during the transition period)

  1. The Applicant selects a priority document and selects the option to edit the access control list.
  2. The system displays the access control list and allows the Applicant to add or remove Offices (OSF) from the list. Only participating offices are shown but changes are disabled for Offices which have already migrated to the new Route (e.g. checkboxes being grayed out).
  3. The applicant may also delete the access control list from a document.

Produce Availability Certificate

  1. The Applicant selects the option to generate an Availability Certificate
  2. The system generates a certificate, in PDF format, with the following information: IP type, priority office code, priority application number, priority application filing date, date of availability and access code.
  3. The system gives the applicant the options to download or print the certificate.

Note that:

  • Trademark document also do not have an access code.
  • The “date of availability” is the date on which the document was registered via TDA or uploaded via PCT-EDI or the Office Portal.
  • The existing “publication dates” that have been made available by the OFF will not be displayed, because they will not be used any more.
  • During the transition period, the applicant portal can be used for applications that are made under the new and old Routes.

Manage and View Notifications

Applicant might wish to receive notifications from the system for certain retrieval attempts made by accessing Offices.

The Applicant selects the options to receive any of the following notifications:

  1. Receive notifications when another user associates any of his documents with their account
  2. Receive notifications when an accessing Office first successfully retrieves any of his documents
  3. Receive notifications when an accessing Office fails to retrieve any of his documents
  4. Receive also the selected notifications to his WIPO account email address

The Applicant selects to view the notifications received, if any, or remove notifications that are read.

Produce Availability Certificate

  1. The Applicant selects the option to generate an Availability Certificate
  2. The system generates a certificate, in PDF format, with the following information: IP type, priority office code, priority application number, priority application filing date, date of availability and access code.
  3. The system gives the applicant the options to download or print the certificate.

Note that:

  • Trademark document also do not have an access code.
  • The “date of availability” is the date on which the document was registered via TDA or uploaded via PCT-EDI or the Office Portal.
  • The existing “publication dates” that have been made available by the OFF will not be displayed, because they will not be used any more.
  • During the transition period, the applicant portal can be used for applications that are made under the new and old Routes.

Manage and View Notifications

Applicant might wish to receive notifications from the system for certain retrieval attempts made by accessing Offices.

The Applicant selects the options to receive any of the following notifications:

  1. Receive notifications when another user associates any of his documents with their account
  2. Receive notifications when an accessing Office first successfully retrieves any of his documents
  3. Receive notifications when an accessing Office fails to retrieve any of his documents
  4. Receive also the selected notifications to his WIPO account email address

The Applicant selects to view the notifications received, if any, or remove notifications that are read.

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