ePCT FAQ
ePCT FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
September 1, 2015
ePCT Version 3.1
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Part 1
WIPO Accounts
I
6
General Questions
6

What is ePCT?
6

How can I access the ePCT service?
6

What is the difference between ePCT public services and ePCT private services?
6

Which international applications are available in the ePCT system?
6

What documents are visible in ePCT private services?
7
II
Software and operating system requirements
7

Which browsers are supported?
7

Can I use the ePCT service on a Macintosh platform?
7

Can I use the ePCT service on iOS (iPhone, iPad)?
7

How is ePCT updated? Is there anything I need to do on my PC to install updates?
8
III
Accessing the ePCT system
8

Is it possible to access ePCT at any time of the day?

To use ePCT private services, can I create an account in the name of my law firm and
8
use a generic e-mail address so that my colleagues can also access e-mails coming
from ePCT?

I have created my WIPO user account and I am not able to validate the creation of the
account, how can I confirm it?

8
8
How long does it take for a document uploaded via ePCT to be processed by the
International Bureau?
IV
Digital Certificates
8
9

Which digital certificate can I use?
9

How do I obtain a WIPO digital certificate?
9

Who should request a digital certificate for use in ePCT?
9

How do I backup my digital certificate?

I have more than one certificate installed in my internet browser and when I try to log
10
into ePCT private services, I am not prompted to select one and I get a certificaterelated error message, what should I do?
10

Where should my digital certificate be installed?
10

How can I upload a digital certificate in ePCT?
11

I have several digital certificates. Which one should I upload to my ePCT user
account?
2
11
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to upload the same digital certificate to more than one user account? 11

Can I access my ePCT private account from any computer?

My digital certificate has expired and I now have obtained a new one. How do I upload
11
it to my ePCT user account?

11
Is it possible to upload two digital certificates obtained from different Certification
Authorities (e.g. a WIPO digital certificate and an EPO Smart card)?

12
Why do I get a browser error message when clicking on “Access ePCT private
services” on the ePCT login page?
12
Part 2
ePCT System
13
V
Security and access rights management
13

Can other people see my international applications?
13

What does taking eOwnership mean?
13

What is the difference between eOwner, eEditor and eViewer?
13

Can people with whom I have an eHandshake see all the international applications
that I can see?

13
I am eOwner for an international application. Can I revoke the access rights to that
international application for a user whose access rights had originally been given by
another eOwner? Can I do so without ever having made an eHandshake with that
person?

Is it possible to assign default access rights that will be applied to all applications for
which I am subsequently confirmed as original eOwner?

14
14
Is it possible to assign default access rights to a group of users that will be applied to
all applications in my Workbench for which I am eOwner?
14

What should I do if I think someone has access who should not be allowed?
14

How does a change request under Rule 92bis impact the possibility for a user to
access an international application via ePCT?

15
If the International Bureau receives a request to suspend online access to an
international application in ePCT, how would it check the identity of the person
requesting that suspension?

If the access rights of the sole eOwner are removed but there is at least one eEditor
or eViewer for that international application, who will manage the access rights?

15
16
What action should I take when I leave the company where I work and have eOwner
rights for several applications?
3
16
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions

Someone is leaving the law firm/company and I need to identify all IAs where this
person has access rights in order to remove his/her rights, how can I do this?

16
Can I take eOwnership of international applications that were filed without a digital
certificate?
17

Can eOwnership of international applications be assigned at the time of filing?
17

Who can Request an eOwnership code for use in e-filing software?
17

Is it possible to take eOwnership of international applications that have been
published or where there is a Rule 92bis request?

Why do I need to be specifically granted eOwnership rights in ePCT private services
in order to access an international application that has already been published?

18
What is the difference between the data displayed in the Bibliographic Data tab and
the data in the International Application Status Report (IASR)?
VI

18
Is it possible to remove from my Workbench an application for which I have eOwner
rights?

18
Other features
18
18
I need to submit documents to the International Bureau, can I do it via ePCT? To do
so, is it necessary to have an ePCT account authenticated with a digital certificate? 18

I accidentally uploaded the wrong document to an IA - can I delete it/remove it from
the electronic file of the IA?
19

Can I be notified about specific events for all the IAs in my Workbench?
19

Can I perform an advanced search on the applications in my Workbench?
19

I need to send a request for change under PCT Rule 92bis. To do so, is it preferable to
use the Upload Documents feature or the ‘Actions’ tab and the action ‘Rule 92bis
change request’?

19
Is it possible to submit via ePCT documents for the attention of the receiving Office
(other than the RO/IB), the ISA or the IPEA (for example a Chapter II Demand form)?19

Is it possible to use ePCT to file international applications?

Is there an Address Book in ePCT to save all my contacts? Is it possible to import an
existing Address Book to ePCT?

20
20
Is it possible to export a list of all the applications in my Workbench or a list of all the
documents shown in the IA File View?
4
20
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
VII
What’s New in ePCT?
20

In which languages can I access to ePCT?
21

Are you new to ePCT?
21

How can I find out about new functions as they are added to the system?
21
VIII
ePCT User Guide, Help Desk and Support
21

Where can I find support material on ePCT?
21

Who do I contact for help?
21
5
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Part 1
I
WIPO Accounts
General Questions
What is ePCT?
ePCT is a WIPO online service that provides secure electronic access to the files of
international applications filed under the PCT as maintained by the International Bureau. It is
also possible to file international applications using ePCT-Filing, with WIPO’s RO/IB and several
other receiving Offices. Using the ePCT system, you can submit online requests for different
actions that you would like to be taken and you can review and consult the most up-to-date
bibliographic data and documents contained in your international application, including those
that have not yet been published. Certain documents that are not publicly available in
PATENTSCOPE after publication (e.g., Chapter II related documents) are also available via
ePCT.
How can I access the ePCT service?
The first step is to create an account via the WIPO Accounts service. That is all that is required
to use ePCT public services. However, in order to access ePCT private services, you will need
to upload a digital certificate to your account for authentication purposes (the certificates
currently supported are WIPO digital certificates, EPO smart cards and digital certificates issued
by SECOM, Japan). The same WIPO Account is used for accessing both ePCT private services
and ePCT public services.
The “Getting started” document guides you through the initial set up of your user account:
http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/epct/pdf/epct_getting_started.pdf.
What is the difference between ePCT public services and ePCT private services?
ePCT public services are available to all WIPO online account holders and do not require the
use of a digital certificate. The main functionality is the online upload of PDF documents (with
subsequent online viewing of documents uploaded by you); this is the International Bureau’s
preferred method of receiving correspondence. It is now also possible to submit amendments to
the claims under Article 19 in text format (.DOCX or text-based .PDF files) via an Action.
Public services is also used for submitting third party observations with regard to novelty and
inventive step. Access to other confidential documents and data is not permitted.
ePCT private services enable account holders to access international applications filed as of
1 January 2009, which are owned or managed by them. New international applications are also
prepared and filed in ePCT private services. A valid digital certificate supported by the system
must be uploaded to the account in order to access ePCT private services.
Which international applications are available in the ePCT system?
ePCT private services are available in respect of international applications filed as of
1 January 2009, regardless of the receiving Office with which they were filed and regardless of
the type of filing (electronic, paper or physical media). However, the upload of documents via
ePCT public services has no restriction at all in terms of international filing date.
6
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
What documents are visible in ePCT private services?
In addition to the most up-to-date bibliographic data, you can view almost all of the documents
held by the International Bureau in relation to your international application, including
documents which have not yet been fully processed. This includes documents issued and
received by receiving Offices and International Authorities to the extent that a copy is sent to the
International Bureau. However, the file is not complete for documents relating to actions at other
Offices unless a copy of such documents is transmitted to the International Bureau by the Office
in question (e.g. ISAs do not transmit documents cited in International Search Reports to the
IB).
II
Software and operating system requirements
Which browsers are supported?
Mozilla Firefox (recommended) from version 3.6 and above
Internet Explorer versions 7.0 and above
Note: If you use Internet Explorer 11, the following setting may need to be configured to be
able to access the system: Go to “Tools” > “Internet options” > select the “Advanced” tab >
scroll down to the end and uncheck the box “Use TLS 1.2”.
Note on WIPO digital certificates: Firefox or Internet Explorer MUST be used to enroll and
pick up certificates. However, other browsers e.g., Google Chrome or Safari may be used
subsequently for accessing the ePCT.
Useful tip: If you have obtained a WIPO digital certificate with Internet Explorer , and you also
have Google Chrome installed on your PC, the certificate is automatically also available in
Google Chrome. If you encounter login problems to private services with Internet Explorer, you
should be able to log into ePCT using Chrome.
Can I use the ePCT service on a Macintosh platform?
Yes, it is possible, both the ePCT private and public services work on a Mac; we strongly
recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox.
For private services access, if you require a WIPO digital certificate, Mozilla Firefox must be
used to request and pick up the certificate on a Mac.
Can I use the ePCT service on iOS (iPhone, iPad)?
Whilst it is possible to connect to ePCT using iOS, some functionality is not available, e.g. it is
not possible to pick up a PDF file for document upload purposes.
7
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
How is ePCT updated? Is there anything I need to do on my PC to install updates?
No, there is nothing you need to do as updates are applied automatically in the background so
that every time you log into the system it is up-to-date without any action required on the user’s
side.
III
Accessing the ePCT system
Is it possible to access ePCT at any time of the day?
ePCT is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, limited periods of downtime
for essential maintenance may be necessary, in which case advance warning will be posted on
the ePCT Portal.
To use ePCT private services, can I create an account in the name of my law firm and use
a generic e-mail address so that my colleagues can also access e-mails coming from
ePCT?
No, user accounts and digital certificates must be in the name of individuals. The International
Bureau will reject eOwnership requests that are not submitted by accounts in the name of
individuals. Please note that an e-mail address can be associated with one account only.
I have created my WIPO user account and I am not able to validate the creation of the
account, how can I confirm it?
When a WIPO account is created, it is not fully active until you have completed the account
validation step. Promptly after the creation of the ePCT account the user receives an e-mail
notification containing a web link to validate the creation of the account. It may happen that this
e-mail is blocked by the spam/junk filter of the user’s e-mail account, or of the internet provider’s
e-mail account. If you do not receive the validation e-mail, you can request that it be resent by
clicking again on the ‘Create an account’ link, and on the left-hand menu click ‘Request
confirmation code’ and follow the instructions to validate your user account. Please note that
you will not be able to access and use your user account until it has been validated.
In the absence of the validation e-mail please contact the PCT eServices Help Desk.
How long does it take for a document uploaded via ePCT to be processed by the
International Bureau?
The time required to process a document depends on the type of document and the workload at
the International Bureau. However, once uploaded, a document can be viewed immediately in
ePCT, including while it is pending processing. Once processing of a document by the
International Bureau is complete, you can be notified of this fact by setting up the relevant
‘Preference’ selection on the ‘Notifications’ tab in ePCT private services.
8
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
IV
Digital Certificates
Which digital certificate can I use?
The following digital certificates are supported by the latest version of the ePCT system:
•
•
•
WIPO Customer digital certificates
Digital certificates issued by EPO which are stored in smart cards
Digital certificates issued by SECOM, Japan.
How do I obtain a WIPO digital certificate?
A WIPO digital certificate can be obtained from the WIPO Certification Authority by clicking on
the link “Obtain/Upload a certificate” on the ePCT home page https://pct.wipo.int/ePCT/,
provided there is no valid certificate associated with your ePCT user account. It may only be
issued to individuals. Although PCT users should normally have only one valid digital
certificate at any given time, the same certificate can, however, be installed and used on as
many personal computers as necessary.
Important: Please be reminded that same computer and browser – MS® Internet Explorer or
Mozilla Firefox - must be used for enrollment and picking up the certificate. Using the same
computer also facilitates certificate renewal.
Who should request a digital certificate for use in ePCT?
Any person who needs to access ePCT private services to file applications and to view and
perform actions on their contents should have a digital certificate. The ePCT user accounts are
individual and not ‘company’ accounts, and shared access to international applications is done
by means of eHandshakes with other known users. For example, if the assistant/paralegal of an
attorney needs to be able to share access to international applications in order to work on them,
both the attorney and the assistant should have their own certificate and their own user account.
9
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
How do I backup my digital certificate?
For WIPO digital certificates please proceed as follows:
•
For Mozilla Firefox go to Tools>Options>Advanced>Certificates>View Certificates>Your
certificates tab and then click on Backup and follow the prompts. The Backup option
always includes the private key by default. For detailed instructions, please see:
http://www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/support/cert_download_ff.html
•
For Internet Explorer go to Tools>Internet options>Content>Certificates>Personal tab
and then click on Export and follow the prompts. (Remember to check the box to include
private key, otherwise it is not possible to create a backup). For detailed instructions,
please see: http://www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/support/cert_download_ie.html
We strongly recommend that you take advantage of the backup option. Having a WIPO
certificate available as a local file enables you to import it in order to access to ePCT on
different computers or browsers. Importing a new copy of the certificate to the browser may also
be necessary after browser or operating system upgrades.
I have more than one certificate installed in my internet browser and when I try to log into
ePCT private services, I am not prompted to select one and I get a certificate-related
error message, what should I do?
The fact that you are not prompted to select one of the certificates installed in your internet
browser could be due to a setting in the browser. To change this setting, please proceed as
follows:
⇒
For Mozilla Firefox, go to Tools>Options> Advanced>Certificates> check the radio
button ‘Ask me every time’ ('when a server requests my personal certificate').
⇒
For Internet Explorer, go to Tools>Internet options>Security > click ‘Custom level’ and in
the Settings list, under ‘Don’t prompt for client certificate selection when no certificates or only
one certificate exists’ select ‘Disable’.
Where should my digital certificate be installed?
In your internet browser for ePCT purposes. In order to check whether a digital certificate is
installed in the browser:
⇒
For Mozilla Firefox, go to Tools>Options> Advanced>Certificates>View Certificates>
your WIPO certificate should be visible under the ‘Your Certificates’ tab.
⇒
For Internet Explorer, go to Tools>Internet options>Content>Certificates > Your WIPO
certificate should be visible under the ‘Personal’ tab.
10
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
How can I upload a digital certificate in ePCT?
Your digital certificate must first of all be installed in your internet browser in order for the ePCT
system to detect it. If this is not the case and your certificate is available in another location of
your computer, import it into the browser via the following steps:
⇒
For Mozilla Firefox go to Tools>Options>Advanced>Certificates>View Certificates>Your
certificate taband then click on Import and follow the prompts.
⇒
For Internet Explorer go to Tools>Internet options>Content>Certificates>Personal tab
and then click on Import and follow the prompts. In the ‘Open’ window where you select your
certificate file, please make sure that ‘All files’ is indicated next to the ‘File Name’ field.
Once the digital certificate has been imported in the internet browser, go to the ePCT login page
and click the link ‘Obtain/Upload a certificate’ to upload the certificate to your user account.
Please refer on “How to upload your digital certificate to your ePCT user account” starting on
page 31 of the ePCT Applicant user guide at:
http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/epct/pdf/pct_wipo_accounts_user_guide.pdf
I have several digital certificates. Which one should I upload to my ePCT user account?
If you have e.g. a WIPO digital certificate that you have been using in PCT-SAFE software, you
should upload that certificate to ePCT. You must at all times have a valid certificate uploaded to
your user account, as this is part of the authentication for logging into ePCT private services.
Is it possible to upload the same digital certificate to more than one user account?
Important: A certificate or smart card certificate can only be associated with one user account
at any given time – it is not possible to upload the same certificate to multiple user accounts.
Can I access my ePCT private account from any computer?
Yes, provided that your digital certificate is imported into the internet browser of the computer
you intend to use, prior to logging into your ePCT private services account. In order to do so,
please see the FAQ “How do I back up my digital certificate?” and follow the instructions on
“How to import your certificate” at: http://www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/certificates.html
Note: If an EPO Smart card is associated with a user account, in order to access ePCT private
services from a different computer, you will have to install the Smart card Reader software
(Gemalto/Gemsafe) on that other computer.
My digital certificate has expired and I now have obtained a new one. How do I upload it
to my ePCT user account?
Whether you are using an EPO Smart card, a WIPO digital certificate or another supported type
of certificate, it is preferable to wait until the certificate has expired before uploading the new
one. On the ePCT login page, click ‘Obtain/Upload a certificate’ and follow the prompts.
11
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to upload two digital certificates obtained from different Certification
Authorities (e.g. a WIPO digital certificate and an EPO Smart card)?
In early releases of ePCT, the digital certificate uploaded to your user account had to be the
same you used for e-filing purposes e.g. in PCT-SAFE software in order to take eOwnership. As
this is no longer the case – there are other ways of taking eOwnership – it is not worth trying to
associate an ePCT account with multiple certificates unless one is shortly due to expire.
Nevertheless, if you wish to upload for example a WIPO digital certificate and an EPO smart
card, please upload the smart card first and then the WIPO certificate as an additional
certificate.
Why do I get a browser error message when clicking on “Access ePCT private services”
on the ePCT login page?
The most common reason for a message such as "Internet Explorer cannot display the
webpage" is that the digital certificate installed in the browser has not yet been uploaded to your
user account. If you have uploaded it to your account, please close all browser windows and try
again.
Re-importing your digital certificate from the backup copy into the browser may also solve the
issue. This is usually necessary for example after browser and operating system upgrades.
Please also try the following in Internet Explorer: Go to “Tools” > “Internet options” > select the
“Advanced” > scroll down to the end and uncheck the box “Use TLS 1.2”.
12
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Part 2 ePCT System
V
Security and access rights management
Can other people see my international applications?
Only if you allow them. The person who files the application will normally become its first
“eOwner”. This does not mean that they own the international application itself, but that they are
responsible for managing access to it. The eOwner has to delegate either eOwner, eEditor or
eViewer rights to other account holders with whom he has an ePCT eHandshake, in order for
them to have access to any applications.
What does taking eOwnership mean?
eOwnership is the operation required to prove that you are the “eOwner” of a specific
international application, such as the applicant or agent. When filing international applications
via ePCT-Filing, the user who submitted the new IA is set as the original eOwner, with no need
to confirm eOwnership as a separate step. It is also possible to assign eOwnership rights to an
application already at the time of filing when using PCT-SAFE or EPO's eOLF software. For
more details, please refer to “Assign eOwnership in ePCT at the time of filing” at:
http://www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/support/guides/pdf/eownership_guide_v3.pdf
For electronic applications already submitted with a supported digital certificate, the information
needed to confirm the eOwnership is the international application number, international filing
date and a confirmation code that appears on the bottom right-hand corner of form PCT/IB/301
(the acknowledgment of receipt of the record copy by the International Bureau).
In the case of international applications filed on paper, or that were filed electronically with a
different type of digital certificate that is not yet supported by the ePCT system, you are also
prompted to fill in an online form that will trigger a check at the International Bureau to
determine whether you should be granted “eOwnership” for the international application.
What is the difference between eOwner, eEditor and eViewer?
Users with eOwner rights to an international application can manage access rights to that
application and can assign rights to other users, provided that the eOwner has associated the
user account with the accounts of those users via the “eHandshake” process.
Users with eEditor rights can access and edit the content of an international application in the
same way that an eOwner can, however an eEditor cannot assign and manage access rights
with respect to other users. Note that eEditors can remove their own access rights.
Users with eViewer rights are only allowed to view the contents of an international application
but cannot edit any data and cannot modify any access rights. eViewers are able to download
documents from an application but do not have access to the Upload Documents or Actions
functions. Note that eViewers can remove their own access rights.
13
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Can people with whom I have an eHandshake see all the international applications that I
can see?
No, access to international applications is specifically granted at the individual international
application level. Completing an eHandshake with another account holder enables you to
assign access rights to this person.
I am eOwner for an international application. Can I revoke the access rights to that
international application for a user whose access rights had originally been given by
another eOwner? Can I do so without ever having made an eHandshake with that
person?
Yes, since all eOwners of an international application can perform the same functions, this
means that they can grant and revoke access rights equally. As long as you have eOwner
status, you do not need to have established an eHandshake with users in order to remove their
access rights originally given by another eOwner. It is of course necessary to have an
eHandshake with users in order to assign rights to them.
Is it possible to assign default access rights that will be applied to all applications for
which I am subsequently confirmed as original eOwner?
Yes, it is possible to set ‘default’ access rights to other eHandshake users with a valid digital
certificate uploaded to their ePCT account and these access rights will, from that moment on,
be applied to every international application where you are subsequently confirmed as the
original eOwner. These ‘default’ access rights will not be applied to applications for which you
are assigned eOwner rights by another eOwner, nor do they apply retroactively to applications
for which you are already eOwner. The default access rights can be set in the ePCT private
services ‘eOwnership’ tab by clicking on the ‘View/Edit’ button. Detailed instructions and
screenshots are available in the ePCT user guide.
Is it possible to assign default access rights to a group of users that will be applied to all
applications in my Workbench for which I am eOwner?
It is possible to set access rights to all applications in the Workbench for which you are eOwner
(access rights can only be given by the eOwner(s)) by clicking the checkbox next to the IA
Number column to select all IAs in the Workbench and then by selecting ‘manage access rights’
from the scroll-down list at the bottom of the Workbench screen. The lower part of the screen
will show all your eHandshake users and you will be able to select the level of access rights for
each of them. However, on the Assign New Rights screen you also have access to a checkbox
‘prefill my default access rights option’ in order to apply your default access rights to all the IAs
selected in a single operation.
What should I do if I think someone has access who should not be allowed?
In general, eOwners are responsible for managing the access rights and if rights have been
allocated incorrectly, if the international application is assigned to a new owner, or if someone
leaves a firm and is no longer entitled to see an application, an eOwner should make the
necessary changes immediately. If, for any reason, this is not possible, you should contact the
International Bureau, who will temporarily suspend all access to the international application (or
in some cases suspend a user account) pending the necessary investigations.
14
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
How does a change request under Rule 92bis impact the possibility for a user to access
an international application via ePCT?
For an international application that does not yet have any eOwnership confirmed, the receipt
by the International Bureau of a request to record a change under Rule 92bis limits the
possibility for any user to take eOwnership of that international application directly online in the
system, since the confirmation code on Form PCT/IB/301 may be in the possession of an
individual whose rights have been revoked by the Rule 92bis change.
On the other hand, if the International Bureau receives a request to record a change under Rule
92bis via the Upload Documents feature after eOwnership has been confirmed and at least one
user has access to that international application, online access via ePCT will be temporarily
suspended to all users who have access rights until the Rule 92bis request has been fully
processed by the International Bureau. Provided that the 92bis change was requested using the
ePCT Action function, the automatic suspension of online access rights will apply only in certain
circumstances, i.e., in case of a change of name, address or person of an existing party
indicated in the international application. If the change requested by the ePCT Action concerns
the addition of a new party or a change for an existing party with respect to nationality,
residence, country of address, telephone or facsimile number, or the applicable designations,
access will not be automatically suspended to that international application.
However, it is also to be noted that, for Rule 92bis changes submitted via the ‘Actions’ tab, it is
expected that access rights will be managed independently by the eOwner(s) via the ePCT
system and the International Bureau should normally not have to do more than just doublecheck that, in the context of a Rule 92bis change, the access rights appear to have been set
correctly.
If the International Bureau receives a request to suspend online access to an
international application in ePCT, how would it check the identity of the person
requesting that suspension?
The International Bureau will act as promptly as possible upon any request to suspend online
access to an international application or to suspend online access to one or several users by
temporarily suspending all access rights to the international application in question, and will
subsequently promptly investigate the authenticity of such requests. The International Bureau
will always err on the side of caution – it is safer to suspend all access rights to the international
application immediately while follow-up investigation is made, e.g. by contacting the
applicant/agent/common representative directly. Once the situation is clarified, the International
Bureau will reset the access rights accordingly in the system.
If the access rights of an eOwner are suspended in ePCT, either by the International
Bureau or by another eOwner, will the access rights of any other users whose rights
were assigned by that eOwner also be automatically suspended?
No, only the access rights of that particular eOwner will be suspended in the system. It is the
responsibility of the eOwner who suspends the rights of another eOwner to decide which other
users should consequently have their access rights suspended because those rights were
granted by the person who is no longer eOwner. There is no automation of this procedure in the
system, therefore each case needs to be carefully dealt with on an individual basis. It is up to
the eOwners to decide what is appropriate in the particular case (though, as noted above, the
International Bureau will always err on the side of caution if it is informed that there might be a
doubt surrounding a user’s access rights).
15
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Note that, in the event that the access rights of an individual eOwner are to be suspended by
the International Bureau, for example, in the event that suspicious online activity of that user
was detected or reported, as a precautionary measure the International Bureau will also
suspend the access rights of all users who were given access rights by the person who is no
longer eOwner. In some cases the International Bureau suspends online access to an
international application via ePCT to all users who have access rights, for example, while a
request for the recording of a change under Rule 92bis is pending.
If the access rights of the sole eOwner are removed but there is at least one eEditor or
eViewer for that international application, who will manage the access rights?
It is not possible to remove the access rights of a sole eOwner as long as there is at least one
other user with eEditor or eViewer rights. If an eOwner removes everybody's rights, then the
international application will no longer be available in ePCT.
What action should I take when I leave the company where I work and have eOwner
rights for several applications?
The best practice is first to assign eOwner rights to the international applications that you
manage to an associate or successor; each application should always have more than one
eOwner. As a second step you should remove your own access rights. If it is not possible to
assign rights to another person at this point, please ensure that you remove your access rights
to all international applications on your Workbench, including applications with eEditor and
eViewer rights - this will clear all applications from your Workbench. It is of utmost importance
that due diligence is observed, in order to protect all parties involved. In order to identify the
applications for which you have access rights the Workbench filters can be used.
If you will continue accessing ePCT using the same user account, your certificate should be
removed from the account. You should also revoke your digital certificate if it's associated with
your former employer's e-mail address. Enroll for a new certificate with your up-to-date details,
upload it to your account and also change the e-mail address associated with your account.
If you no longer require ePCT access, please request the PCT eServices Help Desk to disable
your account.
Someone is leaving the law firm/company and I need to identify all IAs where this person
has access rights in order to remove his/her rights, how can I do this?
Open your Workbench filters, go to the ‘access rights’ section and check the ‘any role’ box, then
select in the drop-down list the user concerned and click ‘apply filter’ - ePCT will display all IAs
in your Workbench to which this person has access rights. Provided that you are eOwner for
those applications, you can then select them all in the Workbench and use the ‘Manage access
rights’ function located at the bottom of the Workbench screen and remove the access rights of
this person. If you suspect that the person leaving the company has access rights to other
international applications to which you do not have eOwner access rights, you can contact PCT
eServices for further assistance.
16
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take eOwnership of international applications that were filed without a digital
certificate?
Yes. The ePCT system allows you to take eOwnership of international applications submitted
without a digital certificate, for example, international applications filed:
• on paper
• with a non-supported certificate
• with a certificate that does not match the certificate uploaded to your ePCT user
account.
For these types of international applications, during the step to confirm eOwnership in the ePCT
system, the user will be prompted to fill in an online form to request eOwnership. The
International Bureau staff will compare the credentials of the ePCT user who made the request
with the bibliographic data of that international application. Provided that a match is established,
the eOwnership request will be approved.
Can eOwnership of international applications be assigned at the time of filing?
When filing international applications via ePCT-Filing, the user who filed the new IA is set as the
original eOwner, with no need to confirm eOwnership as a separate step.
To facilitate the eOwnership confirmation process of other international applications, it is
possible to indicate the ePCT Customer ID and eOwnership code at the time of filing in PCTSAFE software as well as in EPO's eOLF software and online filing CMS. The preconditions
are:
1.
The user to whom eOwnership is to be assigned has a valid WIPO account, which is
associated with a valid digital certificate, for access to ePCT private services,
2.
PCT-SAFE Client software, eOLF or CMS is used to create the PCT request form/e-filing
application package.
When the application is loaded into the International Bureau's processing system (whether filed
directly with the RO/IB or on receipt of the record copy from another RO), the ePCT Customer
ID and eOwnership code are checked. If the information in the application matches the
information in ePCT, eOwnership of the international application will automatically be assigned
to the holder of the account who will be notified by e-mail once the application is available in his
ePCT Workbench.
Please consult the following step-by-step user guide on how to “Assign eOwnership in ePCT at
the time of filing” available at http://www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/support/user_documentation.htm.
Who can Request an eOwnership code for use in e-filing software?
This is a one-time eOwnership code that is generated in ePCT private services by the holder of
the user account to which eOwnership of the international application is to be assigned, in most
cases the applicant, agent or paralegal. This need not necessarily be one of the signatories of
the international application.
17
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to take eOwnership of international applications that have been published
or where there is a Rule 92bis request?
For published international applications and/or any international applications that contain a
Rule 92bis request (either published or unpublished), the user will be prompted to fill in an
online form in ePCT to request a new confirmation code. This is because Form PCT/IB/301 is
published on PATENTSCOPE and therefore the confirmation code on that form is no longer
confidential. Any Rule 92bis change also invalidates the confirmation code on Form
PCT/IB/301 since that form may still be in possession of an agent or other party that has now
been removed from the record. Please also see the ePCT user guide, chapter on ‘Actions Rule 92bis change request’ available on the ePCT login page.
Why do I need to be specifically granted eOwnership rights in ePCT private services in
order to access an international application that has already been published?
Having the rights to an application in ePCT private services provides access to the complete file
on record at the IB, including a significant number of documents and bibliographic data that will
not become publicly available on PATENTSCOPE. Therefore, in order to gain access to
international applications in ePCT after publication, you must make a specific request to the IB
for an ePCT confirmation code, using an online form available in ePCT.
Is it possible to remove from my Workbench an application for which I have eOwner
rights?
On the Workbench tab, please select the application you wish to remove and from the drop
down list select “Remove my rights.” However, please be reminded that you will only be able to
perform this action if there is at least one other eOwner for the application in question. Our
recommendation is that each application should always have more than one eOwner. Even if
you have eEditor or eViewer access rights to an application, you can also use this function to
remove your own access rights to an application despite the fact that you are not eOwner.
What is the difference between the data displayed in the Bibliographic Data tab and the
data in the International Application Status Report (IASR)?
The Bibliographic Data tab displays a wider scope of bibliographic data than the International
Application Status Report (IASR); both display the latest up-to-date data on file at the IB.
VI
Other features
I need to submit documents to the International Bureau, can I do it via ePCT? To do so, is
it necessary to have an ePCT account authenticated with a digital certificate?
ePCT is the International Bureau’s preferred means of receiving correspondence related to
international applications filed with the RO/IB or other receiving Offices. The ‘Upload
Documents’ feature can be used to upload correspondence in PDF format. This may be done
through the public services which do not require a digital certificate.
For detailed instructions on how to use this service, please refer to the brief user guide ”ePCT
for document upload” available in the Shortcuts at https://pct.wipo.int/ePCT.
18
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
I accidentally uploaded the wrong document to an IA - can I delete it/remove it from the
electronic file of the IA?
Unfortunately, it is not possible for you to delete a document that has already been uploaded. If
you have uploaded the wrong document to an international application in ePCT, you are
advised to upload a letter to the same IA for the attention of the IB, requesting that the
erroneous document be disregarded. You can contact the PCT eServices Help Desk to report
such an erroneous upload.
Can I be notified about specific events for all the IAs in my Workbench?
Yes, you can choose the method of notification (e-mail and/or entry in Notifications tab in ePCT)
and also select as many different types of events as necessary using the Preferences option on
the Notifications tab. For example, you can choose to be notified when certain time limits are
about to expire or when a new document has been received and processed by the IB.
Can I perform an advanced search on the applications in my Workbench?
The Workbench has a filter function which enables you to search and filter international
applications on a number of different criteria, e.g., published applications, applications with
outstanding priority documents, etc.
I need to send a request for change under PCT Rule 92bis. To do so, is it preferable to
use the Upload Documents feature or the ‘Actions’ tab and the action ‘Rule 92bis change
request’?
If the International Bureau receives a request to record a change under Rule 92bis via the
Upload Documents feature, online access via ePCT will always be temporarily suspended to all
users who have access rights until the Rule 92bis request has been fully processed by the
International Bureau, since the exact nature of the change is not known.
However, provided that the 92bis change was requested using the ePCT Action function which
provides for exact identification of the nature of the change requested, the automatic
suspension of online access rights will apply only in certain circumstances, i.e., in case of a
change of name, address or person of an existing party indicated in the international
application. If the change requested by the ePCT Action concerns the addition of a new party
or a change for an existing party with respect to nationality, residence, country of address,
telephone or facsimile number, or the applicable designations, access will not be automatically
be suspended to that international application.
Is it possible to submit via ePCT documents for the attention of the receiving Office
(other than the RO/IB), the ISA or the IPEA (for example a Chapter II Demand form)?
It is now possible to upload documents for the attention of receiving Offices other than that of
the International Bureau and other International Authorities (ISA and IPEA), provided that they
have electronic data exchange mechanisms in place with the IB. This feature is available in the
‘Upload Documents’ tab in ePCT private services. The document types available for upload
depend on the recipient Office selected. The ePCT system therefore acts as a ‘hub’ and will
electronically transmit the uploaded documents to the relevant Office. A first step in the
development of such a hub was the Action to prepare and submit a Chapter II Demand in ePCT
for electronic transmittal to the competent IPEA.
Note: This feature is not available in the ePCT public services – Upload documents tab.
19
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to use ePCT to file international applications?
Yes, a web-based e-filing application (‘ePCT-Filing’) is available to users in ePCT private
services. It is possible to file with the receiving Office of the International Bureau (RO/IB) and
several other receiving Offices, and will progressively be extended to further Offices.
Applications can be filed in all the PCT languages.
ePCT-Filing provides real-time validations against the IB’s database, which means that the
reference data and online validation messages are always the most up-to-date. There is no
need to worry about having the latest version of software installed on your computer – all that is
required is a WIPO user account authenticated with a digital certificate, which applicants using
ePCT private services will already have. By preparing an international application using ePCTFiling, most formalities errors will be detected prior to submission and can be corrected by the
applicant before the application is filed. For instance, prior to filing, PDF documents are
validated at the time they are attached to the draft application in order to detect color/greyscale
content, non-embedded fonts, document size and landscape orientation. International
applications filed using ePCT-Filing will be immediately available online to the default “eOwner,”
namely, the person submitting the application, with no need to confirm eOwnership as a
separate step. Moreover, it is possible to share access rights to a new application while it is still
a draft, prior to filing. This can also facilitate signing in case of signatories in different locations.
Is there an Address Book in ePCT to save all my contacts? Is it possible to import an
existing Address Book to ePCT?
An address book feature is available in ePCT private services. It now provides for names and
addresses in multiple languages, most notably, contact name and address details in languages
that require transliteration can be saved as one entry along with the English equivalent. The
selection of such names and addresses when using the ePCT system (e.g., for filing new
applications or for the 92bis Action) results in the relevant language version being populated in
the correct fields in one operation.
You can either import an existing Address book from another e-filing software, or add new
contacts directly from ePCT. To import an Address book to ePCT e.g. from PCT-SAFE or EOLF
software, the file needs to have an .csv extension. Detailed instructions are available in the
ePCT Applicant user guide starting on page 23.
Is it possible to export a list of all the applications in my Workbench or a list of all the
documents shown in the IA File View?
Yes, you can use the
(Download Workbench data/File view data as an Excel Spreadsheet):
click this icon to download the Workbench data in an MS Excel table. This feature is also
available on the ‘My History’ tab.
VII
What’s New in ePCT?
In which languages can I access ePCT?
The ePCT user interface is now available in all the 10 PCT publication languages (English,
French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic). The
language options can be selected in the top right corner of a page. As a result of this
multilingual deployment, ePCT is no longer considered a ‘Pilot’ system, which initially was
available in English only.
20
ePCT Frequently Asked Questions
Important: Regardless of the language of the ePCT interface that you are using, Actions and
cover letters are always rendered in the language of publication of the international application.
If, for example, you are using the ePCT interface in Spanish for an international application that
has English as the language of publication, when you preview the Action or submit it to the IB,
the document will be rendered in English.
Are you new to ePCT?
If you are new to ePCT and want to get started and familiarize yourself with the system, the
“Getting Started” instructions will help you to create a WIPO user account and upload a valid
digital certificate. This document is available under “SHORTCUTS” on the ePCT login page and
also via a link within your ePCT private services account.
Viewing the recordings of ePCT webinars will also help you become active in ePCT. Webinars
are archived at http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/seminar/webinars/index.html .
How can I find out about new functions as they are added to the system?
Please refer to the document “What’s new in ePCT?” which is available under “SHORTCUTS” on
the ePCT login page and also under the ePCT tab once logged in to ePCT. This document
contains a release note that outlines the new features added to the current version and also
describes future functions that are planned for forthcoming versions of ePCT.
VIII
ePCT User Guide, Help Desk and Support
Where can I find support material on ePCT?
A detailed User Guide for the ePCT system is available on the ePCT login page or via your user
account menu together with a number of other useful documents. For the time being they are
available only in English. Links are also available in the ePCT Tab within the ePCT system.
Recordings of ePCT webinars are archived at
http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/seminar/webinars/index.html.
Who do I contact for help?
For any questions, please contact the PCT eServices Help Desk using the “Contact Us” link. If
you click on the “Contact Us” link at the top right corner of any screen in ePCT, “Patents” will be
automatically auto-filled as the topic and “e-PCT” as the sub-topic. Should you need to send an
attachment, e.g. screen shot, please send it by e-mail to [email protected]
Telephone support is also available on +41 22 338 9523.
The Help Desk is available from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 until 18:00 Central European time.
Every attempt is made to respond to questions within one business day. The PCT eServices
Help Desk is closed on Saturdays and Sundays and on non-working days at WIPO, see
http://www.wipo.int/contact/en/holidays.html.
[End of document]
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