The World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) allows nationals and residents in a PCT contracting state to seek patent protection for an invention or utility model (depending if the contracting state has utility model option) simultaneously in the 152 PCT contracting states by filing just one (1) application instead of filing in each country where the protection is being sought.
To expand its service and assistance to Filipino inventors, the IPOPHL begins operation as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA), enabling it to conduct search and preliminary examination of international applications filed under the PCT.
Recognizing the role of the patent system as a driver to further research and innovation, IPOPHL hopes to encourage more Filipino inventors to seek international protection of their inventions, considering the fee waiver program and the office’s upgrading of competence and expertise.
The procedure under the PCT has great advantages for the applicant, the patent offices, and the general public:
Under the PCT, the applicant has up to 18 months more than he has in a procedure outside the PCT to reflect on the desirability of seeking protection in foreign countries. He has enough time to appoint local patent agents or representatives in each foreign country, prepare the necessary translations and pay the national fees.
An applicant can be assured that his international application which is in the form prescribed by the PCT, cannot be rejected on formality grounds by any designated Office during the national phase of the processing of the application.
On the basis of the international search report and the written opinion, the applicant can evaluate the chances of his invention being patented.
Furthermore, the applicant has the opportunity to amend the international application during the international preliminary examination before submission to the national phase entry stage.
Search and examination work of patent offices can be considerably reduced or virtually eliminated due to the international search report, the written opinion and, where applicable, the international preliminary examination report that accompanies the international application.
And lastly, since each international application is published together with an international search report, third parties are in a better position to formulate a well-founded opinion about the patentability of the claimed invention.
- Only Inventions and Utility Models may be protected via the PCT (Apply for a local patent or utility model first to maximize your time in filing a PCT International Application).
- At least one of the applicants, if there are several applicants, must be a Filipino national or resident.
- Filing - you file an international application, complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language (preferably in English), and you pay one set of fees
- International Search - an “International Searching Authority (ISA)” (Choices: Australian Patent Office, European Patent Office, Japan Patent Office, Korean Intellectual Property Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office) identifies the published documents which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable and establishes an opinion on your invention’s potential patentability which results to an “International Search Report” and “Written Opinion of the ISA”.
- International Publication - the content of your international application is disclosed to the world and your invention will have provisional protection.
- International Preliminary Examination - an “International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA)” (Choices: Australian Patent Office, European Patent Office, Japan Patent Office, Korean Intellectual Property Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office), at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, on the basis of the International Search Report, according to internationally accepted criteria of patentability (novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability). This process also allows you to evaluate your chances of obtaining patents from
national and regional patent offices.
2. National Phase
- After the International Phase, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries wherein you want to obtain them.
- You will pay the national fees apart from the fees you have already paid during the International Phase.
- The national or regional patent offices concerned begin the process of determining whether they will grant you a patent or not. You must appoint a local agent or representative. More information on national phase entry for each country can be found in Volume II of the PCT Applicant’s Guide
For more information, please call (02) 238-6300 local 3101, 3201