The system enables applicants and offices to meet the requirements of the Paris Convention for certification in an electronic environment. Traditionally, applicants have been obliged to request certified paper copies of documents from one office and then submit those documents to other offices. DAS allows applicants to simply request the first office (known as the Depositing Office or Office of First Filing) to make priority documents available to the system and then to request other offices (known as the Accessing Offices or Offices of Second Filing) to retrieve those documents via the service. The exchange of documents then takes place electronically between the offices.
The service is intended for use with documents related to patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks. At present, it is used for priority documents relating to patent applications. It will be extended to other IP rights, such as industrial designs and trademarks, once the participating offices have made the necessary operational and technical changes.