In January of 2011, WIPO launched the first pilot of the ePCT system. Though ePCT only contained test data at that time, it was the first step toward an online service capable of providing secure electronic access to PCT application files maintained by the International Bureau.
On May 2, 2011, WIPO relaunched its ePCT pilot program, this time providing live production data. A select group of users are currently using ePCT to view PCT applications filed electronically with the Office of the International Bureau (RO/IB). Though access to this pilot program is still currently limited to a select group of users, WIPO anticipates expanding this program to other PCT applicants in the months to come. Similarly, the ePCT hopes to eventually grant access to (1) PCT applications filed with other receiving offices using other types of e-filing software and authentication, and (2) international applications filed on paper or physical media.
Injecting more technology into foreign filing and prosecution will undoubtedly improve and simplify these processes. Speaking of using technology to streamline the patent process, have you seen inovia’s client portal yet?
Click here for more information on ePCT.