Patent Application in the Philippines

There is a significant similarity in registering both utility model patents and industrial design patents in the Philippines. Most of the steps involved are the same except for slight differences in the manner of drafting some documentary requirements.

The procedure for the registration of both utility model patents and industrial design patents in the Philippines is as follows:

Step 1. Preparation of the documentary requirements. Title, Abstract, Specification and its corresponding drawings and the application form must be prepared prior to registration. There are strict formal requirements in drafting these documents most especially the Specification and the drawings. Failure to comply with said requirements usually lead to either denial or amendment of the application. Denial or amendment in turn delays the registration process and also leaves the invention unprotected from copycats.

Step 2. Filing of the application form and other documentary requirements. This process is done at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The applicant is required to pay the filing fees at the cashier.

Step 3. Approval of the Examiner. After the filing of the application, such will be raffled to an examiner who will then be tasked to do the following: 1) search for prior art or simply stated existing inventions that are the same or similar in terms of the inventive step; and 2) assess and examine all the documents submitted. Once he approves the application, he will then forward his recommendation to the Office of the Director. If he denies it, he will send an examination report to the applicant informing him of either the amendments that need to be made or the reasons for the denial. Upon receipt of an examination report, an applicant is given two (2) months to respond to it. Failure to respond to the report results in abandonment of the application.

Step 4. Approval of the Director. The Director will assess the recommendation of the examiner and decide on its approval or denial.

Step 5. Publication. Upon approval of the Director, the utility model/industrial design application will then be published for two (2) months at the IPO Gazette. Within this period, all claims/adverse information against the application must be filed.  Oppositions of third parties must be filed before the expiration of the two-month publication period; otherwise, it will be barred.

Step 6. Release of the Certificate of Registration. Upon expiration of the publication period without any claim/adverse information filed, the certificate will then be released. At this juncture, the application is deemed registered from the date of filing, meaning the invention is protected from the beginning. Those who imitate the product or process from the date of filing the application may already be held liable for patent infringement.

Registration of utility models and industrial designs in the Philippines seem easy upon looking at the foregoing step-by-step procedure. Nonetheless, like any other registration process, unexpected twists may arise. Therefore, it is more prudent for an applicant to seek legal representation in these highly technical matters. For those who decide to heed this advice, please do not hesitate to call (+632) 310-1020/ (+632) 823-1090.

Industrial Design and Utility Model Patents in the Philippines

Industrial design and utility model patents in the Philippines are two confusing concepts seldom known to the public. What usually comes to mind when there are inventions is the term “patent.” Inventions though, can still be protected despite its failure to meet the rigid standards imposed for patent registrations. This protection provided by Philippine intellectual property laws are in the forms of industrial design and utility model registrations.

To prevent much confusion between industrial designs and utility models in the Philippines, below are their similarities and differences:

  • As to similarities

1)      Both are required to be new in the field where each belongs.

2)      Both must be created, manufactured or produced out of innovative concepts that are short of passing the standards of patent registrations.

3)      Both must be industrially applicable, meaning, of practical use and capable of being mass produced or utilized in industries.

  • As to differences

1)      Industrial design registration protects the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of the product. It is more concerned on the innovative two or three dimensional features. Utility model registration on the other hand, protects the structural elements of the product. For example, if there is a new shape for a certain product, what is registrable for a utility model is the skeleton or framework that creates the new shape. Whereas for the industrial design, what is registrable is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of such shape.

2)      The overall innovativeness or creativity of the design is registrable under industrial designs. For utility models however, even if only one aspect of the product structure is new, such portion is already registrable.

Indeed, if we coin the term industrial designs for “aesthetic aspects” and utility models for “structural aspects,” these used-to-be-confusing concepts become clearer and more understandable.

Our firm has a wealth of experience in registering industrial designs and utility models in the Philippines. To have a clearer background on these confusing concepts, please do not hesitate to call us at (+632) 310-1020. It is our privilege to be of service to you.