Online services of intellectual property offices in South-East Asia

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WRITTEN BY XUAN NGUYEN

Digitalisation has changed the way intellectual property (IP) offices operate, and made them more effective. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when many IP offices were physically closed, online systems played an essential role. Thanks to this, filing and processing services avoided disruption.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com

Photo source: https://pixabay.com

Let’s explore how the South-East Asian IP offices improved, and are still improving, their online systems and what type of online services are currently available!

  1. Brunei

To increase efficiency of the services, the Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) has recently launched an e-filing portal for patents, trade marks, industrial designs and post-filing. For more information on how the e-filing works, check out here.

There is also an online database (here) that allows companies to search for IP rights such as patents, trade marks and industrial designs which have been registered or applied in Brunei.

  1. Cambodia

Cambodia launched an online filing system for trade mark registration in 2017. Following recent updates to reduce the need for in-person filings during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has urged applicants to make use of the e-filing system as much as possible. The DIP expanded the e-filing system to include post-registration services such as renewals, the submission of affidavits of use/non-use, responses to refusals, and the appointment of a new agent.

To use the system you must create an account with the DIP and also possess a local bank account. It is only open to domestic applicants and registered IP agents. The portal can be accessed here.

In addition, a trade mark search can be conducted online via the Cambodia Trademark Database, here.

  1. Indonesia

The Indonesian Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) officially launched a new, mandatory e-filing system in 2019. Online filing has been continuously improved and covers almost all aspects of the registration process, from searching or filing to post-filing for patents, trade marks, designs and copyrights. For further information, please click here.

  1. Laos

An online system providing information and services has been developed, it was launched in February 2019 and is now operational. Although the e-filing services are not yet functioning, the trade marks database can be accessed. The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has begun to publish the Official Gazette for trade marks and geographical indications (GIs) on a regular basis. Detailed information can be found here.

  1. Malaysia

The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia’s (MyIPO’s) offers online searches and filing services for patents, trade marks, industrial designs and GIs. This system also allows applicants to check the status of their pending IP applications. For more detailed information, please click here.

  1. Myanmar

Myanmar recently launched an e-filing system for trade marks. However, the system can only be used by IP agents. For more details, please click here.

  1. The Philippines

The e-service portal of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is very comprehensive. It covers almost all aspects of the process, from searches or filing to post-registration steps for patents, trade marks, designs and copyrights. Further information can be found here.

  1. Singapore

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) provides comprehensive IP databases. You can use the e-services portal here. It provides effective and comprehensive functions for searching, filing, amending and renewing patents, trade marks and designs. In addition, you can also download the IPOS Go app for on-the-go access to key functions for new trade mark applications, IP renewals (trade marks, patents and designs) and IP searches.

  1. Thailand

The Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) introduced an e-filing system for copyright, patents and trade marks in 2016. The system, however, needs substantial improvements as it is quite unstable, and the e-filing portal is displayed in Thai only (no English version is currently available). For more information, please click here.

  1. Vietnam

The National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) launched an Online Public Service portal that covers both filing and post-filing tasks for patents, designs and trade marks. The services are open for both local agents and applicants domiciled in Vietnam. However, the NOIP now only grants account access to applicants who have already been assigned an electronic signature. Check it out here.

Conclusion

The online systems of IP offices in South-East Asia have been hugely improved over the past few years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. More improvements are expected in the upcoming years.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com

Photo source: https://pixabay.com

It is worth noting that the online filing systems in South-East Asian countries can only be used by local IP agents or companies with office addresses in the country in question (except for Myanmar where only agents can use the e-filing portal). If a foreign applicant does not reside or carry out their principal business in the country, a local IP agent must be appointed to work with the IP office on their behalf.

For more information about IP in South-East Asia, check out our website at https://www.southeastasia-iprhelpdesk.eu/.

The South-East Asia IP SME Helpdesk is an EU initiative that provides free, practical IP advice to European SMEs in South-East Asia. EU companies can send questions to question@southeastasia-iprhelpdesk.eu and will receive a reply within 3 working days.

IP Protection in the Philippines for the Environmental Technologies Industry

MC900437625In today’s blog post we take a closer look at how European SMEs can protect the IP rights of their environmental technologies in the Philippines. This sector has recently started to boom and offers many promising business opportunities to European SMEs. You will hear more about patent protection and trade mark protection. We will also offer some tips on how to enforce your rights. 

European SMEs that are working on high-tech sustainable solutions for environmental problems find the Philippines quite a promising market. The country that is highly vulnerable to climate change faces many environmental challenges including deforestation, costal degradation, air and water pollution as well as issues arising from waste disposal, just to mention the few most pressing issues. At the same time, the government of the Philippines is committed to looking for solutions, including sustainable high-tech solutions to the most pressing environmental issues, as it is annually allocating over 16 million EUR for climate change adaptation and mitigation funding[1].

European SMEs offering technological solutions to energy efficiency issues, environmentally sustainable transportation, sustainable infrastructure or waste management sectors, are expected to find many promising business opportunities in the Philippines, as these are the sectors that the government of the Philippines is highlighting as the priority sectors in its National Framework Strategy on Climate Change 2010-2022.[2]

European environmental technology providers wishing to enter the Philippines’ market need to keep in mind that despite the recent improvements in the Philippines’ IP laws and regulations, counterfeiting and other IP infringements are still commonplace in the country and thus a robust IP strategy is needed to grow their business in the Philippines. Continue reading “IP Protection in the Philippines for the Environmental Technologies Industry” »

Protecting R&D Innovations in the Philippines

Mech Eng 2In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect your IP in the Philippines while conducting R&D activities. You’ll learn more about Non-Disclosure contracts and patents and how to protect your new IP that is being created in the Philippines. 

Many European SMEs may not consider that they conduct any research and development (R&D) in the Philippines because they do not have a laboratory or research facility there, but in reality, a high proportion of these companies engage in activities which fall under at least one of the terms: research or development.

Some examples of R&D might include an SME that enters into a contract with a local company to use their engineers to develop a prototype into a commercial product or application; or an SME that works with local researchers in a Philippine university to design a digital database that is to be accessible via the Internet to users in Europe.

Even though the Philippines has its problems with R&D, as according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, published by the World Economic Forum, it ranked 83rd out of 138 countries in terms of technological readiness[1], the Philippines’ government is committed to making the country an ‘active player’ in the global knowledge economy[2]. This means that European SMEs can have promising business opportunities in the Philippines’ R&D sector as their know-how will be highly sought after.

IP is a critical consideration for European SMEs that come to the Philippines wishing to tap into this increasingly high-tech production network, or the talent pool for technology development. When engaging in R&D in the Philippines, new intellectual property is being created, the rights to which need to be clearly defined from the outset to avoid disagreements later. Continue reading “Protecting R&D Innovations in the Philippines” »

The Philippines: Application of The Doctrine of Equivalents

patent-without backgroundToday’s blog post on the application of the doctrine of equivalents in the Philippines has been kindly drafted for us by our external expert Ms. Editha Hechanova from Hechanova & Co., Inc. In her article, Ms. Hechanova discusses a patent infringement case in the Philippines to demonstrate the applicability of the doctrine of equivalents in the Philippines IP system, which is essentially meant to help fighting patent fraud. The article first appeared in the Managing Intellectual Property

The doctrine of equivalents is provided under Section 75.2 of the IP Code of the Philippines (Republic Act 8293). However, in deciding actions for patent cancellation and infringement, the Intellectual Property Office (IPOPHL) as well as the Supreme Court rely for the most part on American case law. The recent patent infringement case of Eddie T Dionisio v Visita International Phils, Inc and Lal K Tulsiani (IPV No 10- 2013-00034, July 28 2016) citing a cancellation case also between the parties shows this.

Dionisio was the registered owner of utility model number 2-2011-000646 for a multi-purpose articulated ladder issued by the IPOPHL on June 6 2012. On December 20 2013, Dionisio filed an administrative complaint for patent infringement against Visita claiming that the latter sold ladders with specifications similar to Dionisio’s patented ladders. Visita countered that there was no infringement since it had its own earlier filed utility model registration 2-2009-000166 issued on December 28 2010. Continue reading “The Philippines: Application of The Doctrine of Equivalents” »

IP Protection in the Philippines for the Food and Beverage Industry

shutterstock_173260598In Today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at the IP protection in the Philippines in the food and beverage sector, which has recently also started to offer many business opportunities for European SMEs. You will learn more about how to protect your brand and your precious recipes. Besides brand protection, package design is also important in the Philippines, as consumers often make their purchasing decisions based on the attractiveness of the packaging. Finally, we’re also discussing the options for Geographical Indications’ protection.  

The Philippines’ rapidly growing food & beverage industry is one of the biggest contributors to nation’s economy making up about half of its manufacturing sector and contributing about 23-24% of the country’s GDP[1]. The Philippines is one of the Asia’s largest producers of food, with the value of food processing sector exceeding 24 billion EUR.[2] Given the Philippines’ government’s commitment to further developing the food and beverage industry as one of the priority industries and opening it further up to foreign investments, the Philippines’ F&B industry has become more attractive for European SMEs.

Propelled by increasing disposable income amongst the upper and middle classes and the proliferation of retail and shopping centers as well as by highly urbanized population, the Philippine’s domestic food and beverages market looks quite promising for the European SMEs. The Philippines’ consumers appreciate the high quality and healthy nature of European food and beverage products. As a general trend, the Philippines’ young and fast-growing consumer base is gradually becoming more health-conscious and is increasingly willing to try out new products. As the spending power of the upper-middle and middle class is increasing, there is also greater demand for imported premium products, which offers many business opportunities for the European SMEs.  Continue reading “IP Protection in the Philippines for the Food and Beverage Industry” »