PATENT FAQ

PRE-FILING

What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for a product, process or an improvement of a product or process which is new, inventive and useful. This exclusive right gives the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the product of his invention during the life of the patent.

Can I patent an idea of a new invention?

No, an idea of a new invention alone cannot be patented. To qualify for patent
protection, an invention has to be applied to a product or process. For an invention to
be patentable, it should meet the three criteria: it must be new, involves an inventive
step and is industrially applicable.

Can I obtain a patent for a product design?

It is not possible to obtain patent protection for the mere outward appearance of an
article, that is, a shape configuration, pattern or ornamentation because a patent
protects the functional application of a product. Instead, an Industrial Design
registration may be a more appropriate option.

However, if the outward appearance has a functional application as opposed to a
mere visual purpose, it may be possible to obtain patent protection, subject to the
patentability requirements of novelty, inventive step and industrial application.

Can IPOPHL advise me on whether my invention is patentable?

The Office cannot give any legal advice to applicants on any subject, which includes
the patentability of an invention. If you have difficulty ascertaining the patentability of
your invention or other legal requirements, you should consider seeking professional
advice from a patent agent or an IP practitioner.

Why it is important to apply for grant of a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right that gives the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the product of his invention during the life of the patent. Patent owners may also give permission to, or license, other parties to use their inventions on mutually agreed terms. Owners may also sell their invention rights to someone else, who then becomes the new owner of the patent.

Why it is important to apply for grant of a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right that gives the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the product of his invention during the life of the patent. Patent owners may also give permission to, or license, other parties to use their inventions on mutually agreed terms. Owners may also sell their invention rights to someone else, who then becomes the new owner of the patent.

Can I still commercialize or use my invention without a patent?

Yes, you can commercialize or use your invention without patent protection.
However, once your invention is made known to the public, you may not be able to
obtain a patent if you decide to apply for protection later because your invention can
no longer be considered new.

What may & may not be registered?

The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines sets three conditions for an invention to be deemed patentable: it has to be:

1. New (if it already forms part of the domain of prior art Prior art is explained in the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, Chapter 2,  Section 24 - 24.2)

2. Involves an inventive step (An invention involves an inventive step if, having regard to prior art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art at the time of the filing date or priority date of the application claiming the invention.)

3. Industrially applicable (An invention that can be produced and used in any industry is considered industrially applicable.)

Meanwhile, the following are considered non-patentable

1.Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods

2. Schemes, rules and methods of performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;

3. Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body. This provision shall not apply to products and composition for use in any of these methods;

4. Plant varieties or animal breeds or essentially biological process for the production of plants or animals. This provision shall not apply to micro-organisms and non-biological and microbiological processes.

5. Provisions under this subsection shall not preclude Congress to consider the enactment of a law providing sui generis protection of plant varieties and animal breeds and a system of community intellectual rights protection:

6. Aesthetic creations; and

7. Anything which is contrary to public order or morality.

FILING

What are the patent application requirements?

  1. Online Filing

A. Specification and description of the patent:

  • The Title
  • A brief statement of its nature and purposes
  • Brief explanation of the drawings, if any
  • Complete and detailed enabling description
  • Distinct and explicit claim or claims which the applicant seeks to be protected
  • Abstract of the invention

B. Drawings of the invention

All PDFs must be full text searchable prior to uploading into the system. Parties are encouraged to use the “Convert to PDF” function for MS Office files to ensure the PDF is full text searchable. For hard copies, they must be scanned and saved as PDF.

2. In-Person Filing

A. Three (3) filled out copies of the Patent Application Form

B. Specification and description of the patent:

  • The Title
  • A brief statement of its nature and purposes
  • Brief explanation of the drawings, if any
  • Complete and detailed enabling description
  • Distinct and explicit claim or claims which the applicant seeks to be protected
  • Abstract of the invention

C. Drawings of the invention

How to register a patent?

See the step-by-step procedure of applying for grant of patents, in-person or online

How much is the patent filing fee?

  • Php2,020 (Small entities with 100M worth of assets or less) 
  • Php4,363.2 (Big entities with more than P100M worth of assets)

Note: Filing Fees are inclusive of 1% Legal Research Fund (LRF). Other charges may apply depending on the progress of your application

What are the modes of payment?

    1. In-person:
  • Direct payment to the IPOPHL cashier
  • 2. Online:

  • Direct payment to the IPOPHL cashier
  • Online payment through Dragonpay
  • Choosing how to pay the application is included in the last step of the e-Filing system.

POST-FILING

How will I know if my online application was received by IPOPHL?

An electronic copy of the Statement of Account (SOA) and PDF copy of the application form will be sent to the email account of applicant or agent, in real time.

Who to contact regarding my patent application?

Please call (02) 238-6300 local 3101, 3201

How to maintain a patent?

The term of a patent shall be twenty (20) years from the filing date of the application. The patent must be maintained yearly, starting from the 5th year.

READ: Patent Maintenance