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Philippines, Brunei partner for patent service

06 February 2024

Philippines, Brunei partner for patent service

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Brunei Darussalam IP Office (BruIPO) have partnered to extend the latter’s search and examination services to its patent applications. This collaboration stems from the former’s effective procedures and more than 76 years of experience providing patent services.

The partnership was formalized through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between BruIPO Registrar Attorney General Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmad Bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Di-Raja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa and IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba. The MOU was signed in December 2023. 

In addition, the IPOPHL Bureau of Patents will allow reexaminations, offer opinions in response to oppositions to patent amendments, and continue capacity-building initiatives to assist BruIPO in implementing global standards for patent search and examination. For the next five years, IPOPHL will handle up to 200 applications annually from BruIPO.

“This is the first time IPOPHL has been contracted out for a core function by another IP office. After more than 76 years of conducting patent search and examination, this demonstrates increased confidence in the effectiveness of our processes and our tried-and-true expertise in emerging technologies,” said IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba. Barba noted that Republic Act 165 established the country’s first patent office in 1947. 

He pointed out that the Philippines is the first country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to set up a Patent Quality Review System, which has earned IPOPHL’s patent search and examination services a high grade of conformance with international standards. The Philippines also provides one of the shortest turnaround times from application to award or denial.

“We are thrilled that the ASEAN, which, like the Philippines, is trying to maintain its momentum to recover from the pandemic, is no less than a friend. This is our first-ever customer. We anticipate that this alliance would boost innovation in the ASEAN and act as a worldwide role model for cooperative efforts that produce significant results,” continued Barba.

Brunei, like many other countries in ASEAN, has been experiencing a thriving innovation sector.

- Excel V. Dyquiangco

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