Brunei to outsource IPOPHL patent services

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Brunei Darussalam has tapped the Philippines to provide search and examination services for patent applications.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said in a statement it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Brunei Darussalam IP Office (BruIPO) for the outsourcing arrangement.

The MOU was signed by IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba and Brunei Darussalam Attorney General Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmad Bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Di-Raja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa in his capacity as Registrar of BruIPO.

IPOPHL was chosen by BruIPO due to its efficient processes and over 76 years of expertise with patent services.

Under the agreement, IPOPHL’s Bureau of Patents will also accept re-examination, provide opinions in response to an opposition over an amendment to a patent and extend capacity-building activities to help BruIPO adopt international best practices in patent search and examination.

IPOPHL said it would process a maximum of 200 applications a year from BruIPO over the next five years.

This is the first time another IP office has outsourced IPOPHL for a core service,”.

“This shows increased confidence in the efficiency of our processes and our tested and proven expertise in emerging technologies after over 76 years of conducting patent search and examination,” Barba added.

He pointed out that the Philippines offers one of the fastest turnaround times in the region, from application to grant or refusal and is the first to establish a patent quality review system that gained IPOPHL’s patent search and examination services a high rating of compliance with international standards.

“We are delighted that our first-ever client is no less than a friend in ASEAN which, like the Philippines, is aiming to sustain its momentum to recover from the pandemic. We hope this partnership will create more wins for innovation in the ASEAN and serve as a global model for collaborations with meaningful outcomes,” Barba said.

The IPOPHL noted that Brunei Darussalam, just like many ASEAN countries, has been witnessing an increasingly vibrant innovation scene.

Based on its website, BruIPO was established in June 2013 in an effort to restructure Brunei’s national IP administration. The agency is currently responsible for the registration of patents, trademarks, industrial designs and plant varieties protection.

For its part, IPOPHL is the government agency mandated to administer and implement State policies on IP to strengthen the protection of IP rights in the country.

From January to October 2023, the IPOPHL reported a 3.7 percent increase in filings for patents to 3,612 filings from 3,482 filings.

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