A new release of the ePCT system (version 4.2) was deployed on 1 December 2017. Some of the new features are discussed below.
ePCT for applicants
ePCT-Filing now includes the following new features:
- a recommended ‘deadline’ in relation to the 12‑month priority period for filing draft applications that contain priority claims is now displayed in the user interface, and a notification is also sent to users with access rights within 24 hours of the expiration of that deadline (a similar feature has been introduced also for ePCT “Actions” that have an associated time limit for submission);
- it is now possible to create different groups of eHandshake contacts to whom you wish access rights to be automatically assigned when creating a new application, including when cloning an existing application and when generating a confirmation code in ePCT to be used when preparing a new application using PCT‑SAFE, EPO online filing or JPO PAS. To learn more, see the ePCT Support page at:
- if required, you can now assign eViewer access rights to participating receiving Offices for advice and assistance prior to filing;
- when declarations under PCT Rules 4.17(ii) and (iii) are prepared using ePCT, multiple declarations of the same type and in respect of the same applicant are now merged in order to reduce the page count of the PCT/RO/101 (this merging applies also for declarations that are prepared post‑filing using the corresponding ePCT Action);
- the PCT/RO/101 preview function has been improved in order to address issues with the rendering of special characters in certain languages; and
- if the system detects color/greyscale in the specification, the user is informed that an indication will appear on the front page of the publication in PATENTSCOPE to indicate that the original application body as filed contained color/greyscale (for further information, please see “Availability on PATENTSCOPE of original application content containing color or greyscale”, above).
Other new ePCT features include:
- the possibility to save your preferred filter options for the Workbench; and
- credit card payment is now available as a method of payment of fees due to the European Patent Office as receiving Office and as International Preliminary Examining Authority (for further information, please see “EPO: Changes Relating to Means of Payment of Fees”, below).
For further information on the above changes, including relevant screen shots, as well as information on other changes included in this latest release, please refer to “What's new in ePCT for applicants?” on the PCT eServices Support page at:
ePCT for receiving Offices, designated Offices and International Authorities
For details about the new features for Offices in ePCT version 4.2, please see “What’s new for Offices?” at:
Further information on ePCT in general is available on the PCT eServices Support page, including help getting started, at:
You can also contact the PCT eServices Help Desk at:
telephone: (+41–22) 338 9523
or via the “contact us” link.