The SCT Electronic Forum was initiated in November, 1998, with the distribution of a preliminary draft working document for the second session, first part, of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), which took place from March 15 to 17, 1999.
The following procedures are followed:
- Upon completion and translation of the draft working document by the International Bureau, the document will be posted in three languages (English, French and Spanish), utilizing two technical formats for each language (Adobe PDF and MS-Word), on the Internet, on a hidden page (not advertised to the general public) of the WIPO web site ("SCT web site").
- At the same time, a communication is sent by the International Bureau to each of the participants in the Electronic Forum, indicating the title and provisional number of the document, the Internet locations (URLs) of the different versions of the document, and the period for receipt of comments. The communication is sent to each participant via the means indicated in the Registration Form for receipt of communications (e-mail; if e-mail is not available, facsimile; if e-mail and facsimile are not available, post).
- Correspondents who indicated in their Registration Form that Internet access was available can simply access the document on the Internet, in the language and format of their choice. Correspondents who indicated that Internet access was not available will receive the document, in the language indicated in the Registration Form, via the means indicated for receipt of documents (e-mail; if e-mail is not available, post. For documents less than 10 pages long, facsimile may be used, where available).
- Comments, and responses to comments, concerning the draft document may be submitted to the International Bureau in English, French or Spanish via e-mail, or in any of the six official languages of WIPO by facsimile or by post. A special, easy-to-use e-mail response form, including a facility for sending attachments, is available on the SCT web site. Comments which are submitted by e-mail will be automatically posted on the SCT web site, and may be viewed by all correspondents that have Internet access. Comments which are received in written form (by facsimile or by post) may be, at the discretion of the International Bureau, posted on the web site for viewing.
- Comments, and responses to comments, which are received prior to the expiration of the comment period will be incorporated by the International Bureau, as appropriate, into a finalized version of the document. Comments, and responses to comments, which are received after the expiration of the comment period may be taken into account by the International Bureau, depending on the circumstances and time of receipt.
- The finalized document will be distributed via the SCT Electronic Forum in the manner described above, in addition to being distributed on paper in the usual manner to all members and observer organizations of the SCT. The document will also be posted on a public page of the SCT web site.
- The URL of the SCT web site, and the e-mail address (or facsimile number or mailing address, as appropriate) for submission of comments, will be sent to each participant along with the announcement of the posting of the first document.
- These procedures can be reviewed at a future meeting of the SCT on the basis of experience.