In a recent announcement by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, the Patent Cooperation Treaty-ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (“PCT-ASPEC”) will be extended for three years till 26 August 2025.
Following this announcement, applicants seeking accelerated patent prosecution in South East Asian jurisdictions can now continue to enjoy the benefits of the PCT-ASPEC programme. However, it should be noted that there is a cap of 100 applications per year.
To re-cap, there are two main programmes for accelerating the prosecution of patent applications in the nine participating ASEAN Intellectual Property (“IP”) Offices, namely the IP Offices of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The two main programmes are as follows.
Launched in 2009, ASPEC is a regional patent work-sharing programme among the nine participating ASEAN IP Offices. Under ASPEC, applicants may use search and examination reports issued by any one of the participating ASEAN IP Offices (e.g. an Examination Report issued by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore) with at least one allowable claim to accelerate the prosecution of patent applications in any one of the other participating IP Offices.
With the launch of the PCT-ASPEC pilot programme in 2019, applicants are provided with an alternative to accelerate the prosecution of patent applications in the nine participating ASEAN IP Offices by relying on a PCT Written Opinion or International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP) established by an ASEAN International Searching Authority or Preliminary Examining Authority, namely the IP Offices of the Philippines or Singapore.
Do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to know more about accelerating patent protection in the ASEAN states.