ePCT for receiving Offices, Designated Offices and International Authorities

ePCT version 4 - Getting Started

Introduction

Offices that wish to use ePCT should first contact the International Bureau (IB), by sending an email to pct.eservices@wipo.int and provide the details of a nominated main contact person.

The Office main contact person will be responsible for all communications with the IB regarding the access of Office users to ePCT, and any other ePCT related subjects.

The following three steps must be performed before an Office user can start using the ePCT system:

  • Create a WIPO User Account (If you don’t have already a WIPO user account)
  • Define your preferred authentication method: A WIPO account with strong authentication is required to access confidential data and documents in ePCT. A strong authentication can be either:
    • One Time Password (OTP) using an App on your device (e.g. Google Authenticator App)
    • One Time Password (OTP) by SMS using your mobile phone
      or
    • Any supported Digital Certificate (WIPO Digital Certificate or a certificate provided by your IP Office e.g. EPO’s Smart card). For more details about digital certificates, please refer to the following support page: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/epct/pdf/pct_wipo_accounts_faq.html
  • Get the right ePCT access role(s): Once your WIPO user account is created and the strong authentication is defined, your Office main contact person should send a request by email to PCT eServices team pct.eservices@wipo.int, asking which ePCT access role(s) should be granted to you.

Please refer to the next paragraphs in this document for more details about each step.

How to create a WIPO User Account  

IMPORTANT: Office users who already have a WIPO user account (using their own Office email address) and are accessing other WIPO’s online services  are not required to create another WIPO account to access ePCT. The same WIPO account (username and password) can be reused.

If you already have a WIPO user account, pass directly to the paragraph ‘Strong Authentication Methods’ .

If you don’t have a WIPO user account yet, open the ePCT Portal https://pct.wipo.int/ePCT  and click the link ‘Create WIPO account’:

Wecome to ePCT

You are directed to the WIPO Accounts web page where you can fill-in your details and confirm the creation of your WIPO user account:

User Information

The user account is personal (not generic); please provide your own personal details (First name, last name), the country where your office is located and your preferred communication language.

create WIPO account

The username is unique; it allows you to connect to ePCT.

The information provided such as first name, last name, phone number and preferred communication language is very useful because it is reused when generating PCT forms through ePCT or when generating automatic notifications.

User email address

Office users must use their own Office email address when creating their WIPO user account (personal email address e.g. Gmail, yahoo, etc. will not be accepted for Office user accounts):

e-mail

Important: the same e-mail address cannot be used with another WIPO user account.  Please use a valid e-mail address since you will receive a notification containing a link to validate the account creation and the delivery of any further communication.

If your email address has already been used to create a WIPO user account and you don’t remember your username and password, please use one of the possibilities offered on the ePCT logging page: Forgot your username? Or forgot your password? to retrieve your username or to reset your password:

Wecome to ePCT

User password

The password must meet the minimum requirements: 8 characters long and must contain at least one numerical character.

Password

Once all mandatory data are entered (personal details, email address, password, verification code) , click the button ‘Create an Account’. A notification to validate the creation of your WIPO account is sent to your email address.

Validate the creation of your new WIPO user account

Once your WIPO user account is created, a notification to validate the creation of your account is sent to your email address.

If you do not receive an e-mail within few minutes, please check your spam filters and ensure that no.reply@wipo.int is white-listed otherwise you may also fail to receive further system messages in the future:

ePCT

Once you have clicked the link to confirm the validation of your WIPO user account, you will get the following message:

Confirm WIPO Account

As IP Office user, please click on the right link to continue the configuration of your office user account.

Strong Authentication Methods

To access confidential data and documents in ePCT, you must have at least one strong authentication method associated with your WIPO account.

Available Strong Authentication Methods

There are three authentication methods available:

  • App for One-Time Password (OTP) using an App on your device (e.g. Google Authenticator App)
  • Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password (OTP) using your mobile phone number
  • Any supported Digital Certificate (WIPO Digital Certificate or a certificate provided by your IP Office e.g. EPO’s Smart card). For more details about digital certificates, please refer to the PCT eServices support page:  http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/epct/pdf/pct_wipo_accounts_faq.html

IMPORTANT: WIPO recommends ePCT users to set up two (2) strong authentication methods (e.g. App and SMS or for Office users who have already a certificate to add a second authentication method App or text message).

How to define or manage strong authentication methods?

Open ePCT using the following link https://pct.wipo.int/ePCT/en/officero/officeSearchIA.xhtml and log-in with your username and password. You will be prompted to select your authentication method:

Sign-in

Click the link ‘Set-up your authentication methods’ or ‘My Account’ to define your authentication method(s).

If you click ‘My Account’, you will get the following screen:

My Account

If you click ‘Set-up your authentication methods’, you will get the following screen:

Authentication methods

App for One-Time password

Make sure that an App (Authenticator) is already installed on your device (e.g. Mobile phone)
Click the button Add under APP for One-Time Password.  The system will display the QR Code to be scanned using your App

APP for One-Time Password
QR

Scan the QR code with your device, you will get a code shown on your app

Code

Enter the code in the field ‘One-Time Password’ and click the button Register
A line showing your first name and last name will be added under the section APP For One-Time Password:

APP For One-Time Password

To remove the APP strong authentication, place the mouse on the line and click the button ‘DELETE’ on the right side:

APP For One-Time Password

Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password

Click the button ‘Add’ under the section ‘Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password’:

Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password

You will get the following screen:

Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password

Enter your full international mobile phone number (e.g. +41 79 251 66 00) and click send. You will receive a SMS with a WIPO One-Time Password (e.g. 048130). Enter the code received and click the button ‘Register’ to register your mobile phone number:

Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password

Your mobile phone number will be shown under the section ‘Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password’:

Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password

To remove your mobile phone number from the authentication methods, place the mouse on the line where the number is shown and then click the button ‘DELETE’ on the right side.

Once your phone number is registered, a notification is sent to your account email address informing that a mobile phone number has been registered for your WIPO account:

Text Message (SMS) with One-Time Password

Digital Certificates

WIPO CA Customer Digital Certificates

As a general rule, users should have only one valid digital certificate issued in their name at any time. Each WIPO CA Customer Digital Certificate has a validity period of two years and can be renewed for two years. Three weeks prior to the expiration date an e-mail notification will be sent to you to remind you to renew it. WIPO CA Customer digital certificates can only be issued to individuals and not to companies.

IMPORTANT: Please use the same computer and the same browser for the enrollment and retrieval of your digital certificate otherwise you will not be able to use it.

Request a new WIPO Digital Certificate

If you do not have a WIPO Digital certificate yet, you can request a new one by clicking the button ‘Request WIPO Digital Certificate’:

WIPO Digital certificate

You will be directed to the following screen:

WIPO Digital certificate

Enter a challenge phrase (e.g. a password) and click ‘Submit’. The Challenge Phrase is a password you use when you want to manage your Digital ID throughout the Digital ID Center.

Important: When a request for a digital certificate is submitted, the approval of the request requires manual intervention from the WIPO PCT e-Services Unit during WIPO business hours. You will receive an e-mail notification as soon as your digital certificate request is approved (see next paragraph).

Pickup you Digital Certificate

The e-mail notification you received contains the link to a secure web site, your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the steps to follow in order to retrieve your WIPO Digital Certificate:

your Personal Identification Number (PIN)

1. Click on the link to access the secure web page of the digital ID center

secure web page of the digital ID center

2. Click on PICK UP ID, Enter your PIN code and then submit

PICK UP ID

I Already Have a WIPO Digital Certificate

If you already have a WIPO Digital Certificate uploaded in your browser or you have your own Office certificate (e.g. EPO Smart Card), you can click the button ‘Add’:

I already have a WIPO Digital Certificate

you will get the following screen:

I already have a WIPO Digital Certificate

Click the button Upload Certificate; you will be prompted to select the WIPO Digital Certificate

WIPO Digital Certificate

Select the right certificate and click OK.

More information about Digital certificate

Please refer to the section ‘Digital Certificates’ on this page:  http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/epct/pdf/pct_wipo_accounts_faq.html  to get more information about how to back up and manage your certificate, and how to link your digital certificate with your ePCT Office user account

Grant Access Role to Office Users

Office users who have created their own accounts and have already an authentication method defined can request, via their own ePCT main contact person, an access role. 
Office users who try to connect without having any ePCT role defined will get the following authentication error message:

authentication error message

Requesting ePCT Roles

There are four possible roles that reflect Office capacities, defined in ePCT:

  • ePCT-RO for PCT Receiving Offices (RO)
  • ePCT-ISA for International Searching Authorities (ISA)
  • ePCT-IPEA for International Examining Authorities (IPEA)
  • ePCT-DO for Designated Offices (DO)

The access roles are mainly assigned by the WIPO PCT eServices team, upon request from the office main contact person.

Important:  Before assigning roles, the Office user account must be created with an Office email address and must have at least one authentication method defined.

The main contact person should send a request to the PCT eServices team at pct.services@wipo.int with the following details of each office user:

  • First name and Last name
  • Email address used when creating the account
  • Required access role(s): Offices acting as receiving Office only will have ‘ePCT-RO’ defined as access role for all their users. If an Office is acting in more than one capacity (e.g. Office acting as RO, ISA and IPEA), the access roles can be assigned by users depending on the tasks they are performing within the office.

Once the access role is assigned to an Office user, the main contact person and the Office user receive an email from PCT eServices team informing them that the account has been converted and is ready for use.
Some large Offices can have their own administrators (two are recommended), who can assign roles to their own Office users. For more information, please contact PCT eServices team at pct.services@wipo.int.

First Time Connection to ePCT

The same Office username and password can be used in both ePCT environments DEMO and PRODUCTION.
Office users who wish to try ePCT for the first time can use the following link to ePCT DEMO environment: https://pctdemo.wipo.int/ePCT/en/officero/officeSearchIA.xhtml 

Office User with no Authentication method defined

Office users who do not have yet an authentication method linked with their ePCT account will get the following screen:

Authentication method

Click the button ‘Set up authentication methods’ and choose your prefered authetication method.

Office User with no ePCT Roles Granted

In order to be able to use ePCT as Office user, your WIPO user account must be converted to an Office user account and  at least one role signed. If your account is not

Authentication error

Please refer to previous paragraphs in this document to configure your authentication methods and to request ePCT access roles.

Login to ePCT

Office users who have their accounts already configured (Strong Authentication + at least one ePCT Access Role) can connect to ePCT for Offices https://pct.wipo.int/ePCT and get the following default screen:

Worklist

Offices for which the processing of applications in not yet enabled in ePCT will get by default the ‘Search’ screen instead of ‘Worklist’:

Search

For more details about ePCT Office functions, pease refer to the ePCT user guide.

More Information about ePCT for Offices

More information and documentation is available on the PCT web site under ‘PCT for Authorities and Offices’ and the ePCT Frequently Asked Questions for Offices:

ePCT for Authorities and Offices