On 5 October 2017 the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) became an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA). IPOPHL is now the second ISA/IPEA in the ASEAN region.

This announcement further confirms the efforts IPOPHL has undertaken to strengthen its examination capability and will support efforts to foster research and development; and promote innovation and technological advancement across the region.

Of note, IPOPHL met the following requirements for appointment as an ISA/IPEA:

  1. a sufficient number of technical and manpower competence to carry out search and examination in required technical fields;
  2. use of comprehensive commercial and publicly-accessible databases covering patent and non-patent science and engineering databases, for search and examination;
  3. a comprehensive and multi-tiered quality management system namely, in-process quality check, ISO QMS 9001:2008 and internal Patent Quality Review System (PQRS); and
  4. recommendation by established international authorities, particularly the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and IP Australia.

On 1 July 2017, the IPOPHL commenced a 3-year Patent Prosecution Highway pilot program with the European Patent Office.