What is a patent?
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention that provides a new way of doing something or offers a technical solution to a problem.
Having a patent for your invention is important for several reasons:
Exclusive Rights: A patent grants you exclusive rights to your invention for a certain period, typically 20 years from the filing date. This means you have the legal authority to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing your patented invention without your permission.
Monetary Value: Patents can be valuable assets that contribute to your business's bottom line. They can be licensed, sold, or used as collateral to secure financing. Patents can generate revenue through licensing agreements with other businesses that want to use your technology.
Market Advantage: Having a patent can give your business a competitive edge in the market. It helps you differentiate your products or services and establish yourself as an innovator in your industry.
Barriers to Entry: Patents create barriers to entry for competitors, making it more challenging for them to replicate your technology or enter the same market segment. This protection can help you maintain market share and pricing power.
Attracting Investment: Patents can attract investors and venture capitalists who see the value in your innovative technology. Having a strong patent portfolio can make your business more appealing to potential partners and investors.
Innovation Protection: Patents encourage innovation by providing inventors with the incentive to invest time, effort, and resources into research and development. The exclusive rights granted by patents reward inventors for their creativity and contribute to technological progress.
Legal Recourse: If someone else infringes on your patented invention, you have the legal right to take action against them. This can involve seeking damages, injunctions, or other remedies through litigation or negotiation.
International Protection: Patents can be filed internationally through mechanisms like the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This allows you to seek protection in multiple countries simultaneously, facilitating expansion into global markets.
Brand Image: Patents can enhance your brand's image by showcasing your commitment to innovation and technical excellence. This can lead to increased customer trust and loyalty.
Collaboration Opportunities: Patents can open doors for collaborations, partnerships, and joint ventures with other businesses that recognize the value of your inventions.
Long-Term Value: Patents can provide long-term value to your business. Even if you're not actively using the patented technology at the moment, it could become relevant in the future or be valuable for potential mergers and acquisitions.
What are the requirements for filing a patent application?
Filing a patent application involves specific requirements to be eligible for registration:
- Novelty and Inventiveness: Your invention must be novel, meaning it has not been publicly disclosed or described anywhere in the world before your filing date. Additionally, it should involve an inventive step, meaning it's not obvious to someone skilled in the relevant field.
- Industrial Applicability: Your invention must have a practical, industrial application. It should be capable of being made or used in an industry.
If an invention already exists in the realm of prior art, it is not deemed new or "novel." Prior art refers to any information that has been made available to the public before the filing date of a patent application. This can include previous patents, scientific articles, trade publications, or even public demonstrations.
The concept of prior art plays a crucial role in determining the novelty and inventiveness of an invention. In the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, specifically Chapter 2, Section 24 - 24.2, detailed explanations and guidelines are provided to define what constitutes prior art and how it affects the patentability of an invention. Understanding the concept of prior art is essential for inventors and applicants to ensure that their inventions meet the requirements for patent protection in the Philippines. By conducting thorough research and analysis, inventors can ensure that their inventions are truly novel and inventive, paving the way for successful patent applications.
How long does a patent protection last?
A patent lasts for 20 years from the filing date.
What can be patented?
Inventions that are novel, inventive, and industrially applicable can be patented. This includes processes, machines, manufactured products, or compositions of matter.
What cannot be patented?
How do I apply for a patent?
To secure your patent, it is crucial to follow a comprehensive application process. This involves submitting your filing to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), where it will undergo a meticulous examination by experts in the field. Once your application successfully passes this examination, it will proceed to the next stage of gaining publication, where the details of your intellectual property will be made public.
Finally, after the publication stage, you will have traversed the entire process and can anticipate receiving the grant for your patent. This grant not only provides legal protection but also acknowledges your ownership and rights over your innovative creations.
However, if you prefer a more streamlined and hassle-free experience, there is an alternative option. You can enlist the expert assistance of a trusted IP services provider like Recurra. We will guide you through the entire application process with ease and ensure that each step is handled meticulously.
Does a patent protect me globally?
A patent granted by a specific country only provides protection within that country's jurisdiction. To protect your invention internationally, you can utilize mechanisms like the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or file separate applications in each desired country.
How can I apply for a patent internationally?
Through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), you can secure patent protection in numerous countries concurrently.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to go through the PCT process:
File the PCT Application: Start by filing an international patent application (PCT application) with the national patent office of your country, which is also referred to as the "receiving office." This application will serve as the basis for seeking protection in various PCT member countries.
Choose International Searching Authority (ISA): You'll need to select an International Searching Authority (ISA) that will perform a search to identify prior art related to your invention. The ISA will provide you with an International Search Report (ISR) that lists documents relevant to your invention.
Receive International Search Report: Once the ISA completes the search, you will receive the International Search Report (ISR). This report outlines the relevant prior art and helps you assess the patentability of your invention.
File the PCT Publication: Your international patent application will be published approximately 18 months from the priority date (filing date of your initial application). This publication makes your invention's details available to the public.
Request International Preliminary Examination (optional): If you wish to receive a preliminary examination report on the patentability of your invention, you can file a request for international preliminary examination. This step is optional and can be helpful if you plan to enter the national phase in certain countries.
Receive International Preliminary Examination Report (if requested): If you opt for international preliminary examination, you'll receive a report that provides a more detailed assessment of the patentability of your invention based on the prior art and other factors.
Enter National Phase: After receiving the search report and preliminary examination report (if requested), you can choose the countries in which you want to seek patent protection. This is called the "national phase." You'll need to file separate applications in each selected country's national or regional patent office.
Follow National Requirements: Each country's patent office will have specific requirements and deadlines for entering the national phase. You'll need to comply with these requirements to proceed with your patent application in each chosen country.
Continue with National Examination: In each country's national phase, your application will undergo examination according to that country's patent laws and regulations. This examination determines whether your invention meets the criteria for patent protection in that specific jurisdiction.
Maintain Separate Applications: It's important to note that after entering the national phase, your applications in different countries will be treated separately. The outcomes and requirements for each application may vary.
This may seem like a daunting process but if you seek professional guidance from an intellectual property (IP) service provider like Recurra, it can be extremely beneficial for you or your business. We can help you navigate the complexities of the PCT system, manage deadlines, and ensure that your international patent applications are well-prepared and strategically filed.
What is a provisional application?
A provisional application allows you to establish an early filing date but requires a complete application within 12 months.
How can I enforce my patent rights?
You can take legal action against infringement, but professional guidance from an IP service provider like Recurra is recommended.
What is a utility model?
A utility model is a patent-like right for inventions that may not meet all the patentability criteria. It often covers incremental innovations.
How long does a utility model last in the Philippines?
A utility model is protected for seven (7) years without renewal in the Philippines.
What can be protected as a utility model?
Devices, tools, or product components that are new and industrially applicable but may lack significant inventive steps can be protected as utility models.
How do I apply for a utility model?
The application process is similar to patents but typically faster and less stringent.
Can I convert a patent application to a utility model?
Yes, a pending patent application can be converted into a utility model application in the Philippines.
What are the advantages of a utility model over a patent?
Utility models are often quicker to obtain, less expensive, and suitable for innovations with a shorter commercial lifespan.