The DAS stores electronic Certified Copies of Priority Documents and allows retrieval of these documents by certain patent offices via a DAS code. The service is most relevant to applicants who file complete (i.e. Paris convention) patents and designs (and to a lesser extent trade marks).
For a long time, DAS wasn’t useful as not a lot of countries were party to it or accepted DAS codes. But a lot has changed in recent years, with over 30 countries being part of the system. You can find a list of countries which will accept DAS codes (and for which property types) here.
Unfortunately, in a number of jurisdictions it is still necessary to have certified copies, which need to be notarized or otherwise legalised. But this is changing, and it is worth checking prior to instructing an overseas agent.
In Australia, obtaining a DAS code costs in the order of $50 and takes as little as two days to obtain. Advantageously, providing the DAS code in filing instructions can reduce costs by allowing an overseas agent to ‘fully’ file the application, and not have to follow up with further correspondence or requests to various Patent Offices regarding the priority document.
Therefore, the take-home message is to consider obtaining a DAS code in the weeks leading up to a convention filing. Or, if you are certain that a convention case will be filed, you can even request the DAS code shortly after filing the provisional or priority application.
If you have any questions on DAS codes or how they work please contact us.