Another fax bites the dust

More and more fax machines and fax numbers are biting the dust.  Here are the most recent announcements (see October 2018 PCT Newsletter):

  • The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand has just announced that it has discontinued use of its fax machine.
  • The Industrial Property Office of Slovakia has announced that with effect from January 14, 2019, it will discontinue the use of its fax machine.

These follow previous announcements from some months ago, for example:

  • On April 1, 2018, WIPO disconnected its fax machine for Madrid-related communications.
  • Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC stopped posting a fax number on July 21, 2018.
  • Some months ago WIPO announced that it is considering discontinuing its fax machines for PCT-related communications from the end of 2018.
  • Some month ago WIPO proposed to discontinue the use of facsimile communications for Hague Agreement communications from January 1, 2019.

5 Replies to “Another fax bites the dust”

  1. Especially interesting, as facsimile was very convenient for us during the recent electronic black-out at the USPTO. Let’s hope they keep it for some time to come.

    1. Well yes very convenient, but with the increasing prevalence of VOIP telephone lines, the sending and receiving of faxes is less and less reliable. What the recent electronic blackout (August 18-23, 2018) at the USPTO should prompt is not the preservation of its fax machines, but the moving of its backup e-filing systems to a separate geographic location, connected to the Internet in a different way, connected to the power grid in a different way, not relying upon any single same underlying fragile database (e.g. Palm), and so on.

  2. Fwiw – In some recent dealings with the Los Angeles office of the California tax authority, the CA Franchise Tax Board, the alternatives for sending them docs were delivery as hard copy (hand, Fedex, USPS, etc) or fax.

    In particular, email with scanned attachments was not acceptable. Compared to sending hard copy, fax is far less costly and time consuming. Of course, as you note, this assumes no VOIP issue.

  3. We’ve had similar internet blackouts with a number of different authorities and fax is still the ‘de-facto’ alternative. Geographical alternatives seem like a good idea in theory, but we’ve had similar problems even with authorities that do have offices in different countries. Removing the fax will just mean an added risk for us practitioners.

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