The Digital Access Service (DAS) is a database for priority documents established and administered by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). It enables applicants to claim the priority of their first (often domestic) filing at intellectual property offices in various (foreign) jurisdictions, simply by referring to a so-called “DAS access code”, rather than having to file certified copies of their first filing at every foreign office separately. This is now also possible for EU Community Design applications at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
On the applicant’s request, WIPO will store a digital copy of the first filing (i.e. the priority document) on their DAS database and provide the applicant with a unique DAS access code. The applicant may then provide IP offices of their foreign filings with this DAS access code, enabling these offices to download a copy of the first filing from the DAS database.
The DAS system has been in use for patent filings (e.g. UK and European patents) for a number of years and significantly improved the process of claiming the priority of earlier patent applications.
On 11 July 2020 the EUIPO became a participating IP office of the WIPO DAS as an Office of First Filing, meaning that EU Community Design applications filed at the EUIPO can now be entered onto the DAS database. The applicant will be provided with an unique DAS access code for each design application filed. As outlined above, this DAS access code can then be used by the applicant to file design applications in various other jurisdictions, claiming the priority of the earlier EU Community Design application simply by forwarding the DAS access code.
Now, the EUIPO has also become an Office of Second Filing, as of 12 September 2020. This means that applicants with a first design application other than an EU Community Design application (e.g. an earlier US design registration) may provide a DAS access code to the EUIPO instead of forwarding a copy of their first design application.
The Designs team at Potter Clarkson is delighted about this change, as it will streamline EUIPO and foreign design registrations significantly and help our clients save costs. If you have any questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.