According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, “Intellectual property or IP refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” So, any individual who may have thought of a particular concept, model or a product will have a legal way of claiming ownership to it. This is what IP is all about.
Furthermore, the WIPO states that “IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.”
Specifically, a patent is a right granted for exclusive ownership for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful. It is legally enforceable and gives the owner the exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.
Here in the country, the Philippine government have also enforced and imposed this particular right to its citizens. It has stated in its constitution a specific policy “to streamline administrative procedures of registering patents, trademarks and copyright, to liberalize the registration on the transfer of technology, and to enhance the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Philippines.” With this, Filipino inventors, creators or designers are surely protected. Currently, if you have an invention or a product, feel free to visit the Bureau of Patents or the BOP of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and apply for a patent on that particular creation. Check the steps and the application process below.
1. Application for a grant of Philippine Patent (for Invention).
The first step to do is to visit the Intellectual Property Office or the IPO and obtain a filing date. To get this, one needs to prepare necessary documents such as the
(1) properly filled-out request form for a Grant of Philippine Patent
(2) the name, address and signature of applicant(s) and
(3) a short but extensive description of the invention and one or more claims.
Other requirements are:
(a) filing fee both for big or small entities which maybe paid during application filing or within one month from the date of filing. Take note that the application is cancelled automatically or withdrawn in case there is no payment
(b) drawings/diagrams/flowcharts that is necessary to understand the product and
(c) an abstract.
Filing fee may range from P4,000 (big entities) to P2000 (small entities)
2. Examination of the Product.
After the application have been submitted, IP officials checks the application requirements if it fulfills the formal requirement of a “filing date”. This date is very important as the system follows the “first to file” system. This can be the official referral time and date in case there is a similar product or innovation.
3. Classification and Publication of the Product.
This is the time where the product or invention is classified according to its field of technology after which all patent applications will be published in the IPO Gazette. The purpose of this is to expose the product and the patentability of the application. In this way, people will comment in writing their observations about the product and this will be relayed to its author.
4. Request for Substantive Examination.
After the application have been published, there is a need to request for substantive examination and this should be filed within six (6) months from the date of the publication. If this request is not done, the patent application is withdrawn.
5. Decision is made.
This decision can either be to grant patent registration or decision of refusal. This depends on the examiner and if he or she finds no reason for refusal, then the registration of the patent is granted to its rightful owner.
6. Appeal if there is refusal.
According to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. “Every applicant may appeal to the Director of Patents the final refusal of the examiner to grant the patent within two (2) months from the mailing date of the final refusal. The decision or order of the Director shall become final and executory fifteen (15) days after receipt of a copy by the appellant unless within the same period, a motion for reconsideration is filed with the Director or an appeal to the Director General is filed together with the payment of the required fee. Moreover, the decision of the Director General may be appealed to the Court of Appeals. If the applicant is still not satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeals, he may appeal to the Supreme Court.
Lastly, below is an easy flowchart on patent application that will provide an overview of how your product will be protected by law. There is also the corresponding contact information of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. (Chart courtesy of http://www.ipophil.gov.ph/)
Bureau of Patents
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO)
IPO Building, 351 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Telephone Numbers (632) 752-5450 to 65
Web site: http://www.ipophil.gov.ph/