To file an international design application online, you first need to create a WIPO user account, which will then grant you access to the E-Filing Portfolio Manager, allowing you to create and manage your Hague System applications. The E-Filing Interface is the second step, through which you fill in the application form itself.
The E-filing Portfolio Manager helps you create new Hague System applications and manage your existing applications (both sent and unsent). In the future, the Portfolio Manager will help you manage the whole lifespan of your Hague registration, from filing to expiration.
Video: Introduction to the E-Filing Portfolio Manager (N.B. the above video relates to version 2.2 of the E-Filing - it is currently being updated to be in line with version 2.3).
Your applications are automatically stored and saved in real-time. That means you can always come back and complete them later on.
(1) Portfolio Status
The Portfolio Status gives you information on the number of international applications you have and how many unfinished applications are currently saved.
(2) Manage your applications
Using the three tabs at the top of the main dialog box, you can create new applications (File an international application), view applications already sent (Sent applications), or edit and manage unfinished applications that have been saved (Unsent applications).
The features of the three tabs are described in detail in the following section.
(3) Reply to irregularities online
By clicking on the E-Filing Communications menu, you can retrieve and reply to notifications sent by the International Bureau regarding international applications submitted through the E-Filing interface. The number in parentheses displays the total number of unread communications.
The features of the "E-Filing Communication" tabs are described in detail in the section "E-Filing Communications: Reply to invitation to correct irregularities online".
(4) Logging out
To ensure no one accesses your portfolio, remember to log out when you are done. This step is especially important when using a shared or public computer.
The language options (English, French or Spanish) are located at the top-right-hand corner of the interface. Note that the language of a new international application is determined by the language of the Portfolio Manager.
By default, the option is set to "By using an empty form". By simply leaving that option selected and then clicking "Confirm", you will create a new international application from scratch.
Is this your first international application using the E-Filing Portfolio Manager? Make sure you have selected "By using an empty form", click "Confirm", and then just jump ahead to "the E-Filing interface section" of this tutorial.
Once you have created at least one international application, you can save time by reusing some of the data previously entered in your previous application(s). You then have the option to select either "By using data from 'following' sent applications" or "By using data from 'following' unsent applications". Select a reference number and the elements of the application you wish to reuse. Click "Confirm".
The "Sent application(s)" tab allows you to retrieve and view all the online applications you have previously sent by means of the E-Filing interface. In the column "Status" you can trace the current status of your application – "Examination", "Registered" or "Abandoned".
To quickly locate the specific application you are looking for, enter one criterion of the application in the search boxes below one of the five filter criteria: WIPO reference, Filing date, Applicant, Locarno Class, and Designation(s).
To sort the search results, click on a criterion. One click will sort the data in ascending order (numerically or alphabetically as applicable). Click once again for descending order.
The "Sent application(s)" tab allows you to download an acknowledgement of receipt of your application by WIPO by clicking on the PDF () icon.
The "Unsent application(s)" tab allows you to retrieve unfinished applications that have been saved.
To quickly locate the specific application you are looking for, you can enter one criterion of the application in the search boxes below one of the five criteria: "WIPO reference"," Creation date", "Applicant", "Locarno Class", and "Designation(s)".
To sort the applications using a particular field, click on a sorting criterion. One click will sort the data in ascending order (numerically or alphabetically as applicable). Click once again for descending order.
Under the "Unsent application(s)" tab, click on the Delete () button to delete an unsent application. This operation is permanent and cannot be reversed.
To resume editing of a saved application, click on the" Edit" () button. You will be directed to the E-Filing interface where your application will be opened under the "Applicant" tab.
Video: The E-Filing interface and filling in application fields.
(1) WIPO reference
The WIPO application reference is always displayed on the top-left corner. This number identifies your application in the system and should be quoted if you need to get in touch with WIPO.
(2) Contextual help ()
For contextual help on how to fill in a specific section of your application, click on the "Help" () icon located in the top right-hand corner of every section.
(3) Information regarding data entry
A field "Information regarding data entry" contains specific information (hints, tips, warnings) on the particular section you are currently filling in, as well as error messages.
The red asterisk indicates a compulsory field.
The main menu is located on the left side of the screen. It will allow you to navigate through the various sections of your application. The sections designated by each tab will be explained in greater detail further on in this tutorial.
Each sectiion of the main menu is accompanied by one of three different icons describing the status of each section (mandatory or optional), whose meaning are explained herewith:
You need to correctly complete at least the three initial sections, in order to move forward with the first stage of filling in an application.
There are six essential sections. The three initial sections, "Applicant", "Designation" and "Design" are mandatory and need to be validated before being able to complete any other section. The sections, Publication, Signature and Payment are also compulsory.
To leave your application, simply click on the tab "Return to the E-Filing Manager". Remember that your pending application is automatically saved and you will be able to complete it later on.
Video: Completing the six essential sections.
Make sure to complete the compulsory fields in the first section (name, address etc.). It is strongly recommended to enter an e-mail address.
Next, using the scroll-down menu, indicate at least one entitlement for the applicant.
Then, select one Applicant's Contracting Party (ACP), if necessary.
If you need help with legal concepts, such as "Entitlements", or "Contracting Party", refer to the contextual help ().
When the information is correctly entered, click "Save". The information saved on each applicant appears at the bottom of the screen: Applicant(s) registered.
To correct saved information on an applicant, use the "Edit" function () .
You may also "Remove" () an applicant from the list.
A green checkmark () will appear next to the "Applicant" tab after at least one applicant has been recorded.
Click on the "Designation(s)" section to carry on.
The "Designation(s)" section allows you to indicate in which Contracting Party(ies) you seek protection for your design(s).
Click on the name of a Contracting Party to select it. The Contracting Parties selected remain highlighted.
Click on the information icon () to find what effect the designation of a particular Contracting Party will have on the data you need to enter.
After the designation of at least one Contracting Party, the green checkmark () should appear.
Carry on by clicking on the "Design(s)" tab.
The "Design(s)" section has three subsections.
(1) General information and Locarno Class
The first subsection allows you to specify the class under the Locarno Classification to which the product or products in relation to which the industrial design will be used belong. To do so, simply click on the Locarno Class drop-down menu.
Create design(s) by clicking "Add design".
You will be prompted to enter a Locarno sub-class (optional) and a product indication (mandatory) for each design.
If your application contains multiple designs with the same Locarno sub-class and product indication, click on the "Duplicate" button to avoid entering the same information more than once.
Once you have entered multiple designs, you may change the order in which they are submitted. To do so, highlight one design by clicking on it. Then, simply click on the up () and down () arrows on the right until you are satisfied with the ordering.
From the list view, use the "Edit" icon () to correct the Locarno sub-class or the product indication.
Once you have added at least one design, you can upload reproductions. Note that you can not proceed with your application until at least one reproduction has been filed for each design.
To preview how your reproductions will look on a printed sheet of paper, click on the "Preview Reproductions" button.
To upload reproductions, click on the "+ upload reproductions" button. In the dialog box, select your image file(s). You may upload multiple reproductions at the same time. Two tests will then follow:
1. First, the system will automatically ensure your reproductions comply with the file format and size requirements indicated.
Once the system accepts your files, click on "Verify" to initiate the second test.
2. Second, the system will ensure that the resolution and dimensions (height, width) of your images are compliant with the particulars for electronic communications. For example, if the image is too large, the system will automatically resize it and ask you to Accept or Reject the change. To proceed, select "Accept" and click "Save". To submit new reproductions, select "Reject" and "Save" or click "Cancel".
As for the designs, you may change the order in which a reproduction is submitted by highlighting it and clicking the up and down arrows.
To preview exactly how your image file will appear once printed, click on the thumbnail of your reproduction.
You may also indicate a legend to specify the type of view (i.e.,front view, back view, etc.) of the reproduction you have provided. Click on the drop-down menu under the "Legend (optional)" column and select the corresponding view. If you don’t find an appropriate type of view from the drop-down menu, select "Other" from the list and manually enter your own type of view (the interface will limit your input to 50 characters). Legends are automatically saved once entered.
When at least one reproduction has been uploaded for each design, the "Design" tab will display a green checkmark (). From this stage, you may navigate through your entire application.
Under the "Date of publication" sub-section, click on the button corresponding to your desired time of publication. The Contracting Parties you have previously designated in your application may affect your available deferment options. If some options are not available, please refer to the "Information regarding data entry" box (at the top of the page) and the contextual help ().
To identify the person who is signing your application, click on the name of the person and click "Save".
If the application is signed by a representative, click on "Upload PDF" to attach to the application a power of attorney in PDF format.
If you have not yet provided an e-mail address, you will be prompted to include the name and e-mail address of a contact person.
Before sending your application, you should check it carefully in the "Summary" section. Please remember that once sent, your application cannot be amended.
A breakdown of fees presents the item-by-item costs as well as the total amount you have to pay at the time of filing.
To pay and send your application, select one of the four payment methods.
For payment using a WIPO Current Account, simply provide your WIPO Current Account identifier and password, then click on "Validation".
Your WIPO Current Account credentials are usually not the same as your WIPO User Account.
To pay using a credit card, enter your credit card details and click on "Confirm" to process the payment.
For payments to the WIPO bank or postal account, payment instructions can be found in the text box.
Before the system processes your payment, you will be prompted to review your application and confirm that you have reviewed your application and its content.
Once you tick the confirmation box and click "Send", your application will be sent to WIPO for examination.
After sending your application, you will be redirected to the E-Filing Portfolio Manager under the "Sent applications" tab, where you can download an acknowledgement of receipt of your application in PDF format.
Video: Completing sections related to certain designations.
This part of the tutorial covers the sections of your application that are related to the designation of certain Contracting Parties. Depending on the Contracting Party(ies) which you designate, you may have to provide additional mandatory content, and/or you may have the possibility of submitting additional optional content.
If you designate the United States of America, the "Creator" section will enable you to submit an oath or declaration of the creator. In addition, two new tabs will appear in the menu: "Claim" and "More Optional Contents".
Oath or declaration of the creator – In the "Creator" section, for each creator identified, you will be prompted to submit an oath or declaration. To do so, you may either attach a PDF document by choosing "Attach an existing declaration (pdf)" and clicking on the "Upload PDF" button or make a declaration online by choosing "Make a new declaration" and clicking the "Make a declaration" button.
Once you click on "Make a declaration", the declaration text will appear on the screen. The creator needs to type in his signature between the two slashes and click "I declare".
Once you click "Save", the information about the creator and the declaration is recorded.
Claim – This tab will allow you to submit a claim. To do so, indicate an article in the blank space provided and click "Save".
More optional contents: economic status indication – This section allows you to indicate an economic status in order to benefit from a reduction of the United States of America individual designation fee. Choose the applicable economic status. If you choose a micro-entity status, you will be prompted to attach the certification in PDF format.
More optional contents: eligibility for protection – This section allows you to submit an Information disclosure statement. To do so, click on the "Selection" button and choose your file. You may repeat the operation if you have multiple documents.
If you designate the Republic of Korea or Japan, two new tabs will appear in the menu: "Related designs" and "More Optional Contents".
Related designs – This tab will allow you to specify a relation to a principal design. To do so, first select the Contracting Party concerned. Then, from the drop-down list, select the designs that should be recorded as "Related designs". Finally, identify the principal design by filling in the three last fields "Reference type", "Reference" and "Principal design".
More optional contents – Under the "More Optional Contents" tab, you will be able to complete a "Declaration concerning exception to lack of novelty". First select the design(s) to which your declaration will apply. Then, click on the Contracting Party concerned and upload, if you wish to, a supporting document in PDF.
If you designate the Republic of Korea, you may upload priority documents (PDF) in the "Priority" section (Important information about the submission of priority document). The International Bureau will forward the submitted documents to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
Description – If you designate a Contracting Party that requires you to provide a description of the characteristic features of your design, the "Description" tab will display a yellow warning (). This will also be the case for Contracting Parties for which WIPO recommends that you submit a description.
Once in the description section, fill in the box with your description and click "Save" when you are satisfied.
The counter at the bottom of the section will tell you by how many words you have exceeded the limit of 100 (above which an extra fee applies).
Creator – If you designate a Contracting Party that requires the creator to be identified, or a statement related to the creator submitted, the creator tab will display a yellow warning ().
Fill in the creator’s name and address and indicate which design he/she created.
As is the case for applicants, all saved creators are displayed in a table at the bottom of the screen.
Video: Completing the remaining sections (N.B. the above video relates to version 2.1 of the E-Filing - it is currently being updated to be in line with version 2.2).
The "description" and "creator" sections, described in the part of this tutorial dedicated to certain designations, may always be filled in. If they are not required by a Contracting Party, they are optional.
To appoint a representative, fill in the representative’s name, address (incl. town and country), and e-mail address. Click "Save".
The representative tab will display a green checkmark () once it is recorded.
To indicate a correspondence address, fill in the name, address (incl. town and country), and e-mail address for correspondence. Click "Save".
The correspondence tab will display a green checkmark () once it is recorded.
If you want to claim priority of an earlier filing under the Paris Convention, fill in the "priority" section. Click "Save".
Your recorded priority claim(s) will be displayed in a table at the bottom of the screen, and a green checkmark () should appear next to the "priority" tab.
If you wish to claim temporary protection for industrial designs exhibited at an international exhibition, fill in the "Exhibition" section.
Your recorded exhibition(s) will be displayed in a table at the bottom of the screen and a green checkmark () should appear next to the exhibition tab.
After filing an international application by using the E-Filing, if irregularities are detected by the examiner of the International Bureau of WIPO, an invitation to correct the irregularity will be sent. Examiners may also issue other types of communications during the examination, such as observations for which no reply is required.
Such communications are always sent by postal mail. When the application was initially filed through the E-Filing Portfolio Manager, the communication is immediately available in the E-Filing Portfolio Manager. Moreover, an e-mail alert is sent to inform the applicant that a new communication is available in the E-Filing Portfolio Manager.
For security reasons, no link is provided in the e-mail alert.
Once you receive an e-mail alert, log in to the E-Filing Portfolio Manager and locate the "E-Filing Communications" link on the left side menu.
The "E-Filing Communications" interface allows for the retrieving of and replying to communications sent by the International Bureau concerning international applications. It includes three tabs:
To locate an invitation to correct irregularities, make sure the "Action required" tab is highlighted. If not, click on it.
Under the "Action required", you will find a list of invitations to correct irregularities or minor defects for which an action is expected.
You can download the notification by clicking on the PDF icon under the "Letter" column.
1. Under the column "Action(s)", contextual buttons appear to enable you to execute various actions:"Reply" opens the form to reply to the invitation to correct certain irregularities or minor defects online;
2. Review the history of the communications concerning each international application;
3. "Pay online" the required fees where the payment is needed.
Note – The reply form is used to send an official response that will be kept in the application file. Please carefully draft and review thoroughly your response before sending. For questions, please contact the examiner assigned to the file by e-mail or by phone indicated in the notification.
Using the reply form, you can:
1. Type your response in the text field;
2. Attach documents in PDF format (power of attorney/declaration of the inventor/micro-entity certification form/other documents);
3. Attach reproductions by indicating the number of the design and reproduction (i.e. 2.3 = design number 2, reproduction number 3) and uploading images in JPG or TIF format.
Once all required actions are completed, press "Submit your reply".
This tab contains observation letters and notifications of abandonment of international applications. The number of unread communications is showed in parentheses. These communications do not require any action.
The communications are available in the tab "No Action Required" during 30 days after being read. After that, they are automatically moved to the section "Archived".
This section contains communications concerning international applications that are either recorded or abandoned, and therefore cannot be the subject of any reply or other communication. You will also find in this section communications for which no action was required. Such communications are moved to the "Archived" section 30 days after they have been read.