The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) announced several initiatives that show its resounding support for the move to establish an ASEAN community. These initiatives were discussed in a public forum held on October 17 participated by IP professionals and IP rights holders.
IPOPHIL disclosed its plan to launch sometime in 2015 an online and paper version of an ASEAN common trademark application form. IPOPHIL is also working with intellectual property offices in other ASEAN countries to begin the adoption of common substantive examination guidelines by January 2015. Furthermore, the trademark records of intellectual property offices in some ASEAN member states have been compiled and are now accessible through a centralized web portal called ASEAN TMview. They are also currently testing other web portals that could serve as a central record of goods and services classification in ASEAN countries (ASEAN TMClass) and as a search tool for industrial design registrations (Designview) in the ASEAN countries. These web portals will be available in a multilingual format.
The new initiatives add to the current programs already launched by ASEAN member countries in the IP field such as the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC). ASPEC is the regional patent work-sharing program among participating ASEAN Member States, whose purpose is to share search and examination results between the participating offices. This is aimed at allowing applicants in participating countries to obtain patents faster and more efficiently.
The new initiatives announced by IPOPHIL show that the Philippine government is taking steps towards the goals of the planned ASEAN integration.