THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said patent filing assistance on offer to inventors under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has been extended until Dec. 31, facilitating such registrations across multiple jurisdictions.

The IPOPHL said in a statement on Sunday that Memorandum Circular 2022-007 was issued on Jan. 24, authorizing the program for PCT registrants.

Under the PCT system, inventors can file a single patent in multiple or all 155 contracting states for reduced fees.

“With the continued reopening of the economy, we hope to encourage more inventors and companies to seek global opportunities,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

IPOPHL’s filing assistance initiative, which is implemented by the Bureau of Patents (BoP), waives the fees for an International Search Report (ISR), which normally costs $400 for small entities and $1,000 for large entities, as well as those for an International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER), which costs $200 for small entities and $500 for large entities.  

“An ISR identifies the existing patents and prior art which may affect an invention’s patentability. Meanwhile, an IPER is an initial assessment of an application’s novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability prepared according to international standards. Both reports help an applicant evaluate the chances of the invention being patented under the PCT,” IPOPHL said.   

Eligible beneficiaries under the filing assistance program are individual Filipino inventors, higher educational institutions that are members of IPOPHL’s Innovation and Technology Support Office Program, and foreign inventors from PCT contracting states that designate the IPOPHL as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority and select the IPOPHL is their selected office of first filing from Feb. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.   

According to preliminary IPOPHL data, international applications processed under the PCT system increased 137% to 45 last year.

“With their inventions or utility models patented, our Filipino inventors can gain greater competitiveness with their exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing their inventions,” BoP Director Lolibeth R. Medrano said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave