As reported previously here, the EPO has been participating in WIPO's Digital Access Service (DAS) for the exchange of certified copies of priority documents since 1 November 2018. DAS allows for certified copies of priority documents to be exchanged electronically between the various participating patent offices, a complete list of which can be found here.
The EPO's initial implementation of DAS did not extend to international (PCT) applications filed at the EPO as receiving office. However, the EPO recently announced here that from 1 April 2019 it would be extending its participation in DAS to such international (PCT) applications.
This development means that when an international (PCT) application is filed by online filing with the EPO as receiving office, the EPO (as "office of first filing") will automatically generate a DAS access code in the online filing receipt. Subsequently, the DAS access code can be used when filing a priority-claiming patent application at a DAS-participating patent office (i.e. an "office of second filing"), to allow the patent office in question to obtain a copy of the international (PCT) application from the EPO. Thus, in the rare case where a patent application is filed at an "office of second filing" claiming priority from an international (PCT) application filed at the EPO as "office of first filing", the "office of second filing" can use the DAS code generated by the EPO to access a copy of the priority application from the EPO.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.