May 2019 | No. 05/2019


Decommissioning of Fax Transmission at the International Bureau:  End of 2019

Further to the information published in PCT Newsletter No. 12/2018, the International Bureau (IB) has decided to decommission its fax services as of the end of 2019, in order to allow applicants who are still sending documents to the IB by fax extra time to transition to alternative modes of transmission.  Although it is preferable to avoid sending documents by fax to the IB, you will still be able to send documents, including the filing of international applications, to the IB in this way until 31 December 2019.  As from 1 January 2020, it will no longer be possible to send documents by fax to the IB, and the IB will also cease sending communications by fax. 

It is recalled that the IB made the decision to decommission the IB fax services after consultation with Offices in their capacities as receiving Office, International Searching and Preliminary Examination Authority and designated or elected Office, as well as certain non‑governmental organizations representing users of the PCT System.

Whenever possible, you are encouraged to file international applications and post‑filing documents electronically, for example, using ePCT‑Filing or any other electronic filing system used by the Office to which you are submitting the document.  You are particularly encouraged to submit documents using ePCT because of its strong authentication and other advantages.  By doing this you will benefit, in particular, from pre‑filled bibliographic data, where applicable, and the many business validations built into the system.  Furthermore, you will be able to upload documents, not only to the IB, but also to any other participating Offices in their capacity as receiving Office, International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority. 

The new “contingency upload service” has been developed primarily as a back‑up measure in the event that you need to submit a document to the IB urgently, and the ePCT System is not available or the applicant does not yet use ePCT.  It allows the upload of PDF documents, including new international applications and/or post-filing documents, without having to sign into a WIPO account.  Unlike fax services, it provides secure transmission of documents, though without any of the additional benefits and validations offered by the ePCT system. 

Further information on ePCT and the contingency upload service is available at: