This site uses cookies to help make it more useful and reliable. Our cookies page explains what they are, which ones we use, and how you can manage or remove them.

Priority Document Access Service (PDAS)

Legal framework

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Priority Document Access Service External Link has been established in accordance with the Framework Provisions for the Digital Access Service for Priority Documents External Link, established by the International Bureau in accordance with a decision of the Paris Union Assembly, the PLT Assembly and the PCT Union Assembly and the recommendations of the Working Group on the Digital Access Service for Priority Documents.

Availability and benefits of PDAS

The free service will be available to applicants filing new GB patent applications electronically at the Intellectual Property Office from 4 October 2009. It will enable applicants to substantiate their claim to priority from an earlier application by utilising a copy of the priority document held in or accessible via a secure database at WIPO. By participating in the scheme the applicant will not have to provide a certified copy of the priority document separately to each participating Patent Office with which a patent application claiming priority is filed. The participating Offices will also benefit from not having to provide as many copies of the same application.

Participation in PDAS

Participation in the service is voluntary for Patent Offices and for applicants.

How the system will operate

The processes described below are those which will be applied in the Intellectual Property Office. For details of how the service will be applied in other participating Patent Offices please refer to their respective web sites.

The Patent Office with which a priority application is first filed is referred to as the Office of First Filing (OFF). To participate in PDAS when electronically filing a GB application via Web Filing or Electronic Online Filing (eOLF) the applicant must tick a participation box and supply PDAS contact details including an e-mail address. Following receipt of the electronic application the Intellectual Property Office will create a priority document and electronically transfer it to WIPO via a secure data exchange. The document will be held by WIPO in a secure database. They will acknowledge receipt of the document by supplying the applicant with a unique access code. This allows the applicant to authorise, via a web portal, participating Patent Offices to have access to the priority document(s) deposited.

A Patent Office with which a subsequent patent application is filed is referred to as an Office of Second Filing (OSF). This part of the process will be available to both electronic and paper filers of GB patent applications at the Intellectual Property Office from 4 October 2009.When filing a GB application via Web Filing or eOLF the applicant will be able to indicate via a tick box that a priority application is available via PDAS. The application number and the date that the document was made available to the Intellectual Property Office through PDAS will be required.

When filing a GB application in paper format the applicant may indicate in writing, usually in the covering letter, that a priority application is available via PDAS. The application number and the date that the document was made available to the Intellectual Property Office through PDAS will be required.

The applicant may also advise the Intellectual Property Office, in its capacity as an OSF, that a priority document is available via PDAS after the filing of a new application. This may be done using the Priority Document Access Service (PDAS) request form available in the Subsequently Filed Documents section of Web Filing or eOLF. Alternatively, the information may be provided in paper format but must include the application number and the date that the document was made available to the Intellectual Property Office through PDAS.

Where a late claim or declaration to priority is made on a Patents Form 3, electronically or in paper format, the applicant may indicate via a tick box (Web Filing or eOLF) or indicate in writing (paper format) that the priority document is available via PDAS. In both circumstances the application number and the date that the document was made available to the Intellectual Property Office through PDAS will be required.

To satisfy the requirements of rule 8(4)(b) of the Patents Rules 2007 the priority document must be made available to the Intellectual Property Office by the relevant date, which is usually 16 months from the earliest date. If the document cannot be retrieved via PDAS then a paper copy must be furnished under rule 8(2) instead. The relevant date may be extended in two month tranches by filing Form 52 and the associated fee, in accordance with rule 108.

Further information

For further information regarding the WIPO PDAS please contact:

PDAS Helpline 01633 814870

Contact us