Decommissioning of fax services and new Contingency Upload Service at the International Bureau

O. Boncea (RO) and J. Gray (GB) on behalf of the Online Communications Committee

WIPO intends to discontinue the use by PCT applicants of fax services at the International Bureau. epi representatives and others have been working hard to ensure that the fax service is not switched off, until a suitable contingency filing service is in place, and tried and fully tested by users over a period of time.

Although already announced for the end of June, the decommission of fax was postponed, but only until the end of the year 2019. In the meantime, users have the possibility to test and/or use in parallel the IB’s new Contingency Upload Service.

The Contingency Upload Service is an alternative channel for filing documents with the International Bureau (including when IB acts as Receiving Office), designed to be a simple and secure means for the electronic transmission of documents, aimed especially for emergency situations. Documents like new international applications and post-filing documents may be uploaded to a link provided in advance by email, without having to create or sign in to a WIPO account and without the need of an electronic signature.

Further details may be found at this link:

A demo version is also available for testing purposes only.

Users are highly recommended to try the new service, before they need it in a real emergency. Even if you do not normally use the ePCT system, it is of special interest because EPO has yet to come up with an alternative filing means, for cases where the current EPO electronic filing systems fail, even though they surely would love to decommissioning of fax services as well. The Online Communications Committee (OCC) of epi will be collaborating with the EPO as their system evolve, and your feedback regarding the IB’s new Contingency Service would be very helpful. You can always contact the OCC at

(See also the results of the online survey “What do you do when online filing breaks down?”. New responses are still welcome.)