THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) received unanimous international endorsement as International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, an agreement administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The Working Group on patent cooperation, sitting as Committee on Technical Cooperation (CTC), reviewed the IPOPHL’s application and unanimously endorsed it for approval by the PCT Union Assembly during the General Assembly of the WIPO Member States in October 2017.
With the endorsement, IPOPHL is a step closer to realizing its goal of operating as an ISA/IPEA, which is envisioned to contribute to increased use of the patent system by Filipinos.
“The Philippines is well placed to ensure a dynamic and accessible IP system in the region, and the IPOPHL will contribute enhancing a robust environment for research, invention, and innovation and IP protection. The
Philippines, after all, is a strategic partner in building a strong IP culture in the region,” IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago said on Friday.
Santiago also said the designation of the Philippines will further boost the dynamism of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The Philippines is one of the founding members of Asean, which is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year.
Asean consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) allows applicants to file a single application in one intellectual property office and seek protection in multiple countries. The Philippines is seeking designation as an ISA/IPEA under the treaty.
There are only 22 ISAs/IPEAs worldwide. If appointed, the IPOPHL will be the 23rd, and the second in Asean after Singapore.
Santiago said IPOPHL has satisfied the requirements to be designated as ISA/IPEA.
She cited the vibrant Philippine economy and the country’s highly successful network of Innovation and Technology Support Offices.
The network of research institutions and universities is a potential source of patent filings. The Philippines has also been identified by WIPO as a “hub for intellectual property creation and commercialization.”