What is a Patent and How to Apply

A Patent is an exclusive right granted by the State through the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) toa patent owner for a product, process, or an improvement of a product or process for a specified period. In return, the patent owner discloses the invention details in his application published in the Intellectual Property Office Gazette. Technological information made available to the public promotes innovation and development.

Patentable inventions offer a technical solution to a problem in any field of human activity. The technical solution must fulfill three basic requirements:

  1. it must be new;
  2. it must involve an inventive step and;
  3. it must be industrially applicable.

An invention has a term of protection of 20 years from the filing date of application.

A patent owner has the right to prohibit any unauthorized person or entity from using, making, or selling his product or process. He can also transfer his right by assigning or transferring the patent, and conclude licensing contracts from it.

A utility model, also known as a petty patent, is an invention that is new and industrially applicable. It does not provide an inventive step. A utility model has a term of protection of seven years, which cannot be renewed.

An industrial design, meanwhile, consists of compositions lend a special appearance to and serve as a pattern for industrial products or handicrafts. An industrial design has a term of protection of five years. It can be renewed for two consecutive periods of five years.

The layout design (topography) of integrated circuits is an original three-dimensional rendition of integrated circuits used in microchips and semiconductor chips intended for manufacturing. It has a term of protection of 10 years, which cannot be renewed.

New Plant varieties comprise a given genotype or a combination of genotypes distinguished from any other plant groupings by at least one characteristic. The plant varieties are therefore new, distinct, uniform, and stable. For trees and vines, the term of protection is 25 years from the grant of the Certificate of Plant variety Protection. For all other types, the term of protection is 20 years from the grant of the certificate.

Patent Application Requirements

1. Request for the grant of a patent

The request contains the petition for the grant of patent. It also includes the name and other information of the applicant, the inventor, the agent, and the title of the invention.

2. Description of the invention

The application must be clear and complete to guide an expert skilled in the art to carry It out. Applications involving a microbiological process, a product of this process, or the use of a microorganism or similar items that cannot be sufficiently disclosed must be supplemented by submitting the material in an international depository institution. Drawings are necessary for the understanding of the invention.

3. One or more claims

The application shall contain one or more claims that define the matter for which protection is
sought. Each claim must be clear and concise, and shall be supported by a description.

4. An Abstract

This is the summary of the disclosure of the invention as detailed in the description, claims, and drawings. The abstract must not exceed 150 words.

For more information, contact:

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines
IP Philippines Bldg., 351 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Tel. (02) 752-5450 to 65
Web: www.ipophil.gov.ph

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