Utility Model FAQs
What is a utility model?
A Utility Model is a protection option, which is designed to protect innovations that are not sufficiently inventive to meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents application. It may be any useful machine, implement, tools, product, composition, process, improvement or part of the same, that is of practical utility, novelty and industrial applicability. A utility model is entitled to seven (7) years of protection from the date of filing, with no possibility of renewal.
Why it is important to register a utility model?
A utility model allows the right holder to prevent others from commercially using the protected utility model, without his authorization. Compared with patents, it is relatively inexpensive and easier to obtain.
How different are utility models from inventions?
A patent requires an inventive step while a utility model does not. Patent application requires substantive examination after publication whereas a utility model application is readily registered without undergoing substantive examination after meeting all formality requirements.
What may & may not be registered?
Any technical solution of a problem in any field of human activity which is new and industrially applicable shall be registrable.
The provisions regarding “Non-Patentable Inventions” as provided for in Part 2, Rule 202 of the Regulations for Patents shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to non-registrable utility models:
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.
Do I need an attorney to file an application?
Applicants can apply for themselves. It is at the applicant’s discretion to decide whether to seek the help of an attorney. However, a person who does not reside in the Philippines must appoint an attorney in the Philippines or an attorney established in the country to act on his behalf.
How to register a utility model?
You can register a utility model by filing online through the eUMfile
What is eUMFile System?
eUMfile system is an online filing system of the IPOPHL for filing and payment of new Utility Model applications without the need to come to the IPOPHL office or its satellite offices (IPSOs).
Click here to open the eUMfile system
Who can file using eUMFile System?
Any individual or juridical entity may file a UM application. For non-resident, applicant should appoint a Resident Agent or Patent Attorney
Is there a need for registration to access the eUMFile?
There is no need for registration to be able to file applications online. The eUMFile system is free of charge and accessible to everyone as long as the applicant has an internet connection and active email address.
What type of browser can I use with the eUMFile System?
The eUMFile System is preferably supported by the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome. Please take note that to ensure session security, cookies can be disabled.
Is the system available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
The system is available 24/7, except when the system is under maintenance. Maintenance schedule will be posted at the IPOPHL website.
What do I need to prepare before filing an application online?
Documents must be formatted for electronic filing into Portable Document Format (PDF) and the file name is required as follows:
- Specification covering the disclosure of the application,
- Abstract covering the summary or gist of the application,
- Claims covering the protection sought to be registered and
- Drawings, if any.
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, it shall be scanned and saved as PDF.
Do you have programs for local applicants, particularly small entities, to assist them with getting patent protection for their inventions?
IPOPHL has several programs in place to provide assistance to local applicants, particularly small entities. In general, our filing fees for small entities are lower than regular published rates charged to big entities.
Click here for the Schedule of Patent-related Fees.
Can I file my application in one of the IP Satellite Offices (IPSO)?
No. Our satellite offices are not receiving offices for manual filing but our satellite officers can provide assistance with your online filing.
Can I save my online service application and resume transaction at a later time?
Yes. You have the option of saving a draft of your application when using the UM eFiling online service. This option saves the draft as an XML file on your computer by means of the ‘Save my Application’ button. If you would like to make changes to a saved application you will need to resume the transaction with the eUMFile System using the ‘Open my saved Application’ button.
Please note that saved drafts will expire after fourteen days, at which point you will have to begin again. We strongly discourage you from relying on only these drafts to record the information they enter into your application.
Do I need to submit a paper copy of the application?
No. The electronic application containing all the information and the attachments supplied by the applicant or the applicant’s representative will be automatically uploaded into the IPOPHL Database. Please make sure that you have provided all the necessary information when you file the application online. In the event, however the IPOPHL requires the submission of the paper copy of the attachments, the applicant or representative will be notified by the IPOPHL.
If I am not a resident of the Philippines, can I or my company file an online application using the eUMfile System of IPOPHL?
No. You have to hire a resident agent or an authorized representative in the Philippines who will file the application in behalf of you or your company. A copy of the Special Power of Attorney or Appointment of Resident Agent should be attached in the online application by your representative.
What are the optional attachments that may be included in the online filing?
The following documents may be attached to the online application:
- Priority Document/s and the English translation if the document is not in English;
- Other documents that the applicant may provide to support the application, including the Special Power of Attorney and Deed of Assignment; and
- Declaration of the applicant’s small entity status as required in Sec. 5.3 of IPOPHL Memorandum Circular No. 16-012 Series of 2016. (Effective 01 Jan 2017)
The attachments must be in PDF, preferably searchable.
Why was there no application number assigned to my online application?
No application number was assigned to your application because the eUMFile did not consider it as a bona fide application due to any of the following reasons:
- The advance filing fee was not paid;
- The application is presumed to be fictitious for containing highly-questionable entries (e.g. Title, Names, Addresses, etc.) and/or unintelligible specification details not complying with Section 32 of the IP Code of the Philippines indicating the absence of bona fide intention to seek protection; or,
- The application is presumed to be redundant because it is a second and/or subsequent application/s filed bearing the same title, filed by the same applicant, having the same description, claim/s, abstract, and drawings as a previously filed online application and accepted by the system.
Note: Fictitious and/or Redundant Invention, Utility Model, or Industrial Design applications, as defined above, are considered as invalid/not bona fide applications and are not assigned application numbers by the online filing system. Such applications shall be filtered and reviewed and shall be removed from the Patents internal system.
Why does the Online Filing System generate application numbers that are chronologically apart for applications filed on the same day?
This happens because the Online Filing System is designed to assign application numbers once payment of either the advance partial fee or full filing fee is made. Dragonpay’s payment channels give applicants different payment deadlines ranging from several hours to a certain number of days. Hence, the applications that are paid earlier will be assigned lower application numbers and those paid later will be assigned higher numbers. The chronological discrepancy of the application numbers depends on the length of time that elapsed between payments and on the number of filing fee payments made. Therefore, it is common for applications filed on the same day to have application numbers that are sequentially apart from each other.
Why does the Online Filing System mandatorily require the email address of the Applicant?
This requirement is based on compelling operational and substantive policy because there are instances when patent agents cannot be reached by the Office during the prosecution of the application or that the withdrawal of engagement of an agent by an applicant is not reported to the Office. These will all result to the withdrawal of the application for failure to respond to examination reports depriving the applicant the right to prosecute the application.
In addition, there are also instances when the applicant cannot reach the agent and the only recourse is for the applicant to directly communicate with the Office. To afford the applicant the opportunity to continue the prosecution of the application and having access to the email addresses of applicants is valuable. This is the reason that the online filing system was designed to mandatorily require the email accounts of applicants.
Why are the reference codes for IPOPHL’s SOAs and Dragonpay’s Payment Instructions different?
A reference code is automatically generated by a system for internal data integrity purposes. The IPOPHL system is different from the Dragonpay system. These two independent systems will always have different reference codes, but by some internal process, which has been tested and verified, they will always refer to one and only one application/transaction. Thus, even if IPOPHL and Dragonpay have different reference codes, this will not affect the application.
What is the filing date of an application filed electronically?
The filing date is the date when the application was filed electronically as long as it complies with the requirements under the IP Code.
I invented a machine, can I file for an invention and utility model application at the same time or simultaneously?
No. Article 111 of the IP Code expressly prohibits parallel filing of an invention and utility model applications simultaneously or consecutively.
I have a very long application, can the system accept a large file? What if my application exceeds the maximum capacity, how can I send the remaining pages?
The online filing system is designed to accommodate PDF file size of up to 10MB per attachment. The 10 MB file size does not have an exact equivalent number of pages given that PDF file sizes depends on a number factors including software and content which makes it difficult to ascertain what constitutes 10 MB in terms of number of pages. Therefore, Applicants are advised to make sure that the file size of documents that they intend to upload using eUMFile does not exceed 10 MB per attachment limit.
If the online filing system prompts with an error message when uploading an attachment that exceeds 10MB, you may reduce the file size of the document/attachment through the following steps:
- Open the PDF filing using Acrobat Professional version 8.0 or higher;
- Access in the upper tab section the “Document” tab;
- Select the “Reduce File Size” option; and
- Select Acrobat 5.0 or Acrobat 4.0 version for compatibility and then click “OK”.
To know the file size of the PDF document right-click the PDF file and select “properties”.
For further assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What if inadvertently I filed multiple applications, what will happen?
The requirement to pay the advance partial payment (Php 500) was implemented not only to discourage/deter fictitious applications but likewise to provide remedy/correction for instances involving inadvertently filed multiple applications. The online filing system is specifically designed to require payment of the advance partial fee for all online applications such that only those applications with advance partial payments shall be considered as bonafide applications. Therefore, in cases where multiple applications were inadvertently filed, only those application/s with corresponding advance partial payments or full filing payments shall be given applications numbers and shall be uploaded in the IPOPHL internal database. On the other hand, applications without payments of either the advance partial payment or full filing payment shall not be considered as bonafide applications.
How will I know if my online application was received by IPOPHL?
An electronic copy of the Statement of Account (SOA) and a PDF copy of the application form will be sent to the email account of the applicant or agent in real-time to confirm the completion of the transaction.
If you didn’t receive any email correspondence relating to your online application, you may email us at email@example.com
Who can I contact in case of inquiry or concerns?
Please contact the Patents Records Management Division at (632) 238-6300 local 3312
from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Mondays through Fridays or email the following:
firstname.lastname@example.org for updates on the status of applications
email@example.com for general BOP queries
firstname.lastname@example.org for concerns on online filings and submissions
What is eDocFile System?
The eDocFile System is an Internet-based service of IPOPHL for the online submission of client communications related to Inventions, Utility Models (UM), and Industrial Designs (ID) without physically transacting with IPOPHL or its Satellite Offices (IPSOs).
The eDocFile facility is designed to receive a range of response/document types as well as to process different requests types such as Extensions, Recordals, Conversions, and Registrability Reports for UM and ID. Aside from these, eDocFile is likewise capable of handling fee payments including payment of balance on filing fees, annuities, fees on extensions, publication, and issuance of certificate payments. To access the online service, please refer to the following link:
What type of browser can I use with the eDocFile System?
The eDocFile System is preferably supported by the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome. Please take note that to ensure session security, cookies can be disabled.
What are the advantages of using eDocFile System?
The systems is a fast, economical and efficient way of submitting documents online without the inconvenience of going to IPOPHL and more importantly minimizing health risks as this can be done without leaving the safety and convenience of your homes or offices.
Is eDocFile a free service?
The eDocFile System is provided free of charge. The only fees that will be required are those associated with patent-related payments including balance of filing fee, extension fees, annuities for invention patents, revival fees, and recordal of assignment.
Who can use the eDocFile System?
Any individual or juridical entity with pending or granted applications may submit communications through eDocFile. For entities who are non-residents of the Philippines, they should appoint a resident agent or patent attorney to transact using eDocFile on their behalf.
It’s my first time to use eDocFile, do I need to enroll or register an account?
There is no need for registration in order to access eDocFile and submit communications including responses, requests, and payments online. The online service is accessible to all IPOPHIL clients who have pending or granted applications as long as the applicant or agent has an internet connection and an active email address.
Can I use eDocFile to pay the remaining balance of the filing fee
Yes. The eDocFile System is configured to receive payment of the remaining balance of the filing fee.
How much will I pay for submissions with corresponding fees?
The eDocFile System will automatically compute the required fees during the application process. Further, a copy of the Statement of Account (SOA) that includes the details of required fee payable to IPOPHL will be sent thru email. For complete details of fees refer to the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/138zRWPEofZJCc5TzJvJ4hwUx8UPM-cPX/view
What if I made a mistake in entering application number, what will happen to the file I submitted through eDocFile?
Submission of responses and documents via eDocFile adheres to the same procedure as the manual filing of communications. Given that computer systems plainly follows the instruction of users in the same manner as when submitting document manually, when mistakes in entering/writing an application number happens the eDocFile System shall be consequently directed to store/attach the submitted documents in the wrong electronic file. In such case, applicant needs to correct the mistake by informing the Bureau of Patents by submitting a Correction of Entry through the edocfile Patents. We strongly suggest that this be done at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid complications such as withdrawal of the application due to non-filing of reply to office action.
When is the start of the period to file Reply to the Office Action, the mailing date of the physical copy or the date when email was sent?
Pursuant to the guidelines promulgated regarding the use of IPOPHL electronic systems, the mailing date as indicated in the physical copy dictates the start of the period to file for Reply to an Office action.
payment related questions when filing
How much is the basic filing fee for my application?
Currently, the basic filing fees (exclusive of the 1% legal research fund) are :
For small entity – Php 1737.20
For big entity – Php 3636.00
The system will automatically compute the required fees during the online application process. The applicant may pay the application fee in full or pay the advance filing fee of P500. In both cases, a SOA will be generated and sent to the applicant. If the applicant chooses to pay the advance filing fee of P500 upon filing, the SOA will show the breakdown of the advance filing fee and the remaining balance as well as the deadline for the payment. Further, the SOA will be emailed together with the electronic copy of the application form.
The remaining fees should be paid within one month from the filing date of the application.
What is the advance filing fee? What happens if I do not pay the advance filing fee?
The advance filing fee of Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500), is a requirement when applying application online using eUMFile to ensure that only those individuals/parties with real intention to seek patent protection use the online filing service. The advance filing fee is deductible from the filing fee.
The filing fees (exclusive of the 1% legal research fund) are payable as follows:
- For small entity – Php 1737.20 – P500 advance filing fee = P1, 237.20 remaining balance
- For big entity – Php 3636.00 – P500 advance filing fee = P 3,156.00 remaining balance
Applicants may also choose to pay the filing fee in full upon filing.
An application with no payment for the P500.00 advance fee upon filing will not be assigned an application number and will not be uploaded into IPOPHL’s internal system. Operationally, there is no application received as the online filing system treats this as not a bonafide application.
An application with a paid advance filing fee is assigned an application number, uploaded to the IPOPHL’s internal database, and consequently, assigned to an examiner.
The Implementing Rules provide for a 1-month period to pay the filing fee, why am I being asked to pay an advance filing fee?
The online filing system does not modify existing reglementary period on payment of fees provided under the Rules. Rule 401 provides that the filing fee must be paid within one (1) month from the online/filing reception date. Since the advance payment fee and the remaining balance constitutes the filing fee (Filing fee = advance payment + remaining balance), it follows that applicant is given one (1) month from the online filing date to pay the amount in full.
The requirement for the advance payment is only meant to ensure that only those with true intention to seek protection are serviced by the online filing system.
Is there a mandatory period within which to pay the advance partial fee?
Since the advance partial fee and the remaining balance constitutes the filing fee (Filing fee = advance payment + remaining balance), it follows that the applicant is given one (1) month from the online filing date to pay the amount in full. The value of paying the advance fee is that the online filing system considers the application as bonafide filing by assigning an application number and subsequently entering/uploading the application into IPOPHL’s internal database.
If I pay the advance filing fee via eUMfile System, is there an online system that I can use to pay the remaining balance?
The balance of the filing fee may be conveniently filed/transacted electronically via eDocFile for Patents. This online service is accessible via eServices in the IPOPHL website or through this link: https://www.ipophil.gov.ph/edocfile-for-patents/
For payment of the filing fee balance, eDocFile System will require you to input the efiling reference code and the corresponding application number. The system will automatically display the filing fee balance/s corresponding to the statement of account (SOA) that was sent to you when you filed your application using an online application filing system.
How do I pay the required filing fee?
Filing fees may be paid conveniently through the Dragonpay gateway options:
- Pay directly online using the following Philippine bank accounts: BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, Unionbank, LandBank.
- Pay cash Over-the-Counter at selected banks namely BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, RCBC Savings, UCPB, and Unionbank. Check payments are accepted but are subject to bank clearing guidelines. Additionally, you can also pay through the ATM machines of the following banks: BDO, BPI, Unionbank, RCBC, and UCPB.
- Pay cash Over-the-Counter at selected payment collection centers such as LBC branches, SM Payment Counters, Robinsons Department Stores, Cebuana Lhuillier and M. Lhuillier branches nationwide.
- Use mobile payments namely Globe GCash and BPI BanKO.
Choosing how to pay the application is included as a last step to this e-Filing system.
Can I still pay the filing fee through the IPOPHL cashier?
No. The IPOPHL Cashier will only accept over-the-counter payment for annuity payments if the amount involved is at least P100,000 for every Statement of Account.
What is Dragonpay?
Dragonpay is an online payment solution that enables an IPOPHL client to use his/her existing online banking facility or pay cash over-the-counter at physical retail channels. Dragonpay automatically monitors the online and offline payments made by the client and notifies IPOPHL of a completed payment so that IPOPHL can completely process the application filed online. For details on Dragonpay, click this link
If I choose to pay through Dragonpay, do I need a Dragonpay account?
No. Dragonpay will facilitate payment transactions by linking up with several payment partners (Philippine banks and non-banks only), which will collect your payment on behalf of IPOPHL. This option is open to the general public, and there is no Dragonpay account that needs to be opened to enable this option.
What is the content of Dragonpay’s Payment Instruction that is given to applicant/filer by the Online Filing System?
Dragonpay’s Payment Instruction includes the following details:
- Description of payment channel (Name of the payment channel);
- Payment Reference No. (8 characters Dragonpay Reference No.) ;
- Amount to be paid;
- Description (SOA Type);
- The deadline within which to pay the fee/s; and
- Step by Step instruction including how and where to transact payment as well as brief details of payment confirmation.
How long is the validity of the SOA issued for advance filing fee? What happens if I fail to pay the advance filing fee within the validity of the SOA? Can I request for the re-issuance of another SOA?
The validity of this SOA is determined by each payment channel/merchant affiliated with Dragonpay and varies from few hours to a certain number of days as indicated in the payment instruction provided by the online filing system to the applicant/filer. If the SOA lapses without payment, Dragonpay through its affiliated merchants will not allow payment of fees to proceed. In such a case, the payor will have to email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to request another link/payment instruction to proceed with the payment.
It is strongly recommended that advance filing fees should be paid within the period indicated in the SOA to avoid complications.
The Implementing Rules require that the filing fee must be fully paid within 1 month from the filing date; otherwise, the application will be considered forfeited.
Are there additional charges if I choose to pay through payment channels other than the IPOPHL Cashier?
On top of the IPOPHL filing fees, the following payment channels/integrator will charge the ff:
- VISA thru DBP charges 2% of the transaction amount
- Dragonpay charges P20 per transaction PLUS the different payment channels will charge their own convenience fees.
- VISA, Mastercard, JCB credit cards thru Paymaya charges 1.25% of the transaction amount
- Paymaya Wallet charges P8 per transaction.
This is in accordance with “DTI-DOF Joint Department Administrative Order No. 10-01 Guidelines on the Use of Access Devices for Payment of Fees, Charges, Assessments and Other Revenues Due to the Government through the Electronic Payment and Collection System (EPCS) of a Government Entity”, which allows electronic payment service providers to collect convenience fees from the transacting client.
When I click on Dragonpay, I am ask to encode a login ID and password. What is this login and password?
The login ID and password that is being prompted from you is your online or Internet banking login ID and password with your bank. This is the same login ID and password you use when you check your bank account balance over the Internet. Dragonpay does not require a separate ID and password other than the one you already have. For more details, please click this link.
I encountered problems with my application when I clicked the Dragonpay option. Who do I contact to help solve my payment-related problems?