For its efficient processes and over 76 years of expertise with patent services, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) was recently chosen by the Brunei Darussalam IP Office (BruIPO) to extend its search and examination services to its patent applications.
The outsourcing arrangement stems from a Memorandum of Understanding signed by IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba and the Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmad Bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Di-Raja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa, in his capacity as Registrar of BruIPO, in December 2023.
IPOPHL’s Bureau of Patents will also accept re-examination, provide opinions in response to an opposition over an amendment to a patent and extend capacity-building activities to help BruIPO adopt international best practices in patent search and examination. IPOPHL will process a maximum of 200 applications a year from BruIPO over the next five years.
“This is the first time another IP office has outsourced IPOPHL for a core service. This shows increased confidence in the efficiency of our processes and our tested and proven expertise in emerging technologies after over 76 years of conducting patent search and examination,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said, noting the first patent office in the Philippines was established in 1947 through Republic Act 165.
He noted that, ASEAN-wide, the Philippines offers one of the fastest turnaround time from application to grant or refusal and is the first to establish a Patent Quality Review System that gained IPOPHL’s patent search and examination services a high rating of compliance with international standards.
“We are delighted that our first-ever client is no less than a friend in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which, like the Philippines, is aiming to sustain its momentum to recover from the pandemic. We hope this partnership will create more wins for innovation in the ASEAN and serve as a global model for collaborations with meaningful outcomes,” Barba added.
Like many in ASEAN, Brunei Darussalam has been witnessing an increasingly vibrant innovation scene.