On October 8, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) launched a new program to facilitate electronic exchange of patent application priority documents.  According to the USPTO’s press release “[t]he new service will allow the USPTO and the SIPO, with appropriate permissions, to obtain electronic copies of priority documents filed with the other office from its electronic records management system at no cost to the applicant.”  Prior to October 8, 2014, electronic retrievals of priority documents between the USPTO and SIPO required the use of the World Intellectual Property Office’s (WIPO) Digital Access Service (DAS).  While the new service will likely (1) expedite the delivery of priority documents by eliminating the intermediary use of WIPO’s DAS and (2) avoid costs associated with ordering and transmitting certified priority documents, applicants should note that they remain responsible for ensuring that priority documents are received within any required timeframe(s).