What’s the Best Practice for filing an Article 19 amendment in a PCT application?
The Best Practice is to use ePCT, and in particular to do an “upload document” in ePCT.
Some practitioners use old approaches that are not a Best Practice.
By far the worst is to file the Article 19 amendment at some Office other than the International Bureau. For example one might file the Article 19 amendment in one’s own Receiving Office. This puts you at the mercy of your Receiving Office which might or might not transmit the Article 19 amendment to the IB at all. If the RO does transmit the Article 19 amendment to the IB, it might do so promptly or slowly.
It is also possible to communicate your Article 19 amendment to the IB by means of fax or hand delivery or courier delivery. These are not a Best Practice. Fax filing has the drawback that it degrades the quality of the images. Two pages could get stuck together going through the fax machine.
By far the Best Practice is to e-file the Article 19 amendment in ePCT.
If you are being trendy, modern, and up-to-date then you already have access to the PCT application in “private” ePCT. In this case, bring up the application in your workbench, and click on “upload documents”. Then pick “Article 19 amendment” from the drop-down list. Then upload your Article 19 amendment and submit it.
The other possibility is that you don’t have access to the PCT application in “private” ePCT. This might be because you haven’t obtained a WIPO crypto certificate or haven’t uploaded the public part of your WIPO crypto certificate into ePCT. (If that is the situation, you should get those steps done.) Anyway, in “public” ePCT, type in the PCT application number and filing date. Click around that you are uploading an Article 19 amendment, and click “submit”.
In any event you will need to make sure you get all of this completed prior to midnight (in Geneva) on that last date for filing of an Article 19 amendment. ePCT will help with this. ePCT will tell you what time it is in Geneva. And ePCT will calculate the due date for the filing of the Article 19 amendment for your pending PCT application. To see this calculation, go to your ePCT workbench and bring up your application and click on “time line”.
Of course it is preferable to do an “action” in ePCT rather than a mere “upload”. But as of right now there is no “action” in ePCT for filing an Article 19 amendment. A nice person at WIPO has told me that it is scheduled that an “action” for Article 19 amendments will become available in ePCT in August of 2015. When that time comes, then the Best Practice will be to use the “action” to file the Article 19 amendment.