The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) was unanimously endorsed by the Working Group on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) under the PCT. The PCT is an international agreement administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that allows applicants and inventors to file a single international patent application which will have the legal effect of filing in the different countries bound by the treaty. Once appointed, IPOPHL will be the 23rd ISA/IPEA among the PCT member countries, and the 2nd in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

During her presentation before the PCT Working Group on 11 May 2017, IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago emphasized that the IPOPHL has satisfied the requirements for appointment as an ISA/IPEA. She stated that the IPOPHL has skilled patent examiners competent in conducting prior art searches and examinations of international patent applications under the PCT and that the IPOPHL has also undertaken administrative and operational reforms in preparation for its ISA/IPEA application.

According to Director General Santiago, the WIPO has recognized the Philippines as a “hub for intellectual property creation and commercialization.” In fact, the Philippines was recently ranked by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as among the top 15 preferred investment destinations for multinational enterprises.

The following are the twenty two (22) existing ISA/IPEA under the PCT:

  1. Austrian Patent Office
  2. Australian Patent Office;
  3. National Institute of Industrial Property (Brazil);
  4. Canadian Intellectual Property Office;
  5. National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile;
  6. State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China;
  7. Egyptian Patent Office;
  8. European Patent Office (EPO);
  9. Spanish Patent and Trademark Office;
  10. Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH);
  11. Israel Patent Office;
  12. Indian Patent Office;
  13. Japan Patent Office;
  14. Korean Intellectual Property Office;
  15. Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Russian Federation);
  16. Swedish Patent and Registration Office;
  17. Intellectual Property Office of Singapore;
  18. Turkish Patent and Trademark Office;
  19. State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine;
  20. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO);
  21. Nordic Patent Institute; and
  22. Visegrad Patent Institute