I’ve tried really hard to come up with a title for this piece that does justice to its subject, but I’m not sure I’ve nailed it… maybe I need to admit that there’s just no way to make design portfolio administration and priority-claiming processes sound sexy. But I promise this is some truly excellent news for registered design filers. I felt tangible relief – and yes maybe even excitement* – when I stumbled upon this hidden snippet: From the 11 July 2020 the EUIPO will become a Depositing Office for WIPO’s Digital Access Service (DAS) for Industrial Designs, which relieves quite a significant administrative burden on big design filers that whose registered designs start their life at the EUIPO. An opportunity to put our collective feet up for a moment, and let DAS do some of the work for us…
DAS is a very helpful system that simplifies priority claiming. If you are filing a first application with a ‘Depositing office’, you can indicate to the office on filing that you would like the application to be entered in DAS: they will automatically deposit the application in the system, generating a unique access code. If you file a subsequent application with a ‘Accessing’ office and want to claim priority from your earlier application, you can provide the access code on filing, and they will retrieve the priority document from the system. Nice and simple, and relatively little faff for the applicant.
It has long been a point of frustration for those managing large design portfolios originating from EU priority filings, that the EUIPO has not been part of DAS. Currently, without this system in place, an applicant starting with an EU design application and filing later design applications worldwide needs to obtain and send a certified priority document to every relevant office for filing there, sometimes in hard copy. For a large (or even not-that-large) design portfolio it can make for a big administrative burden sending the documents, checking they have been filed, and docketing and managing the deadlines and correspondence.
This small but simple change will be a welcome simplification of the priority claiming process, and relieve an administrative burden that has long felt unnecessary!
The implementation will be very simple: from 11 July, there will be a new checkbox option on the E-filing forms for an EU design to request use of DAS. If this box is checked, the EUIPO will automatically put the application in the system and provide a DAS access code. Checking this box automatically when filing a new EU design will probably be good practice in future: it will mean the code is automatically generated, and will be there waiting for you if and when you need it in future.
A caveat to the excitement (which you will now of course share too!): the EUIPO is not yet a DAS ‘accessing’ office, meaning that for the time being, if you are filing an application with the EUIPO that makes a priority claim elsewhere it will still be necessary to file a copy of the priority document (though there is actually no requirement for it to be certified – a common misconception). I suppose we can’t always have our cake and eat it, but maybe in the future…!
Emily Weal 6 July 2020
*I know I’m not the only one because I forwarded it to someone who said it made their day, and they weren’t even joking…