The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has announced a Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for Patents, Utility Models and Industrial Designs that came into force on 20 September 2022.
Some notable key changes to the IRR are as follows:
- A general or specific power of attorney is now required at the time of filing. Failure to submit a power of attorney at the time of filing may result in the application being deemed incomplete.
- Notarization is no longer required for general powers of attorney and e-signatures are now acceptable.
- A summary of invention section is now a required part of the description and lack of a summary of invention section may result in the application being deemed incomplete.
- An application that is deemed incomplete will not be accorded a filing date. The filing date will be accorded as the date when all the requirements for a complete application have been met.
- Excess claim fees must be paid in full at the time of filing and multiple dependent claims, as well as claims directed to genus, species, and Markush type claims will be subject to claim fees.
- A one month grace period from the notice of deficit in payment is available to pay any deficit claim fees and failure to pay the deficit claim fees in full within the grace period will result in deletion of the unpaid claims.
- Voluntary divisional applications can now be filed within four months from the date of grant or withdrawal of the parent or earlier divisional application.
- When a requirement to divide due to a lack of unity objection is made final, it is now possible to appeal the requirement and request that the four month period to file mandatory divisional applications starts only after the appeal is resolved.
- The deadline to file a mandatory divisional application from an original parent application is four months from the date the requirement to divide is made final, or four months from the date of the decision of the appeal.
- In the case of a mandatory divisional application based on an earlier divisional application, the deadline to file is four months from the date the requirement to divide is made final, or four months from the date of election.
- A two month extension of time is available to file mandatory divisional applications.
- There is now only one two month extension of time available for responding to office actions, instead of two.
- It is now possible to request for accelerated examination after the application is published and the request for examination has been filed.
- The period for filing an appeal against the refusal of an application has been shortened to two months from the mailing date of the notice of final refusal, instead of four months.
- The period for filing a petition to revive a withdrawn application has been shortened to three months from the mailing date of the notice, instead of four months.
We will keep you updated on the above provisions once we have more clarity and information from the IPOPHL.