A patent is termed as an exclusive right given by the government for any individual (usually an inventor) to manufacture, sell or use an invention for a certain period of time. In this way, the invention is duly protected by this conferred right or privilege.
Thomas Alva Edison, perhaps the most popular and greatest inventor of all time held more than a thousand patents under his name. This is because of his creation of the significant inventions like electric light, sound recording, motion pictures and many more. His inventions contributed mainly to telecommunication which is crucial in the development of the industrialized world.
Patent, Copyright and Trademark Differentiated
Most of us are confused about the differences and perhaps the similarities among patent, copyrights and trademark. Although they may be similar in most cases but they are different once their purposes are served.
As mentioned, a patent is a right granted for exclusive ownership for any device, method or process that may be useful and beneficial to people. It gives the inventor or owner the exclusive right to expose his invention commercially in a certain period of time.
A copyright is the exclusive right to reproduce or make copies, license of printed materials, audio or any musical works including videos. And a trademark is any symbol, name, figure or any mark that is used by the manufacturer for his business.
Requirements in Applying for Patent
Benefits to Humans: The Most Important Requirement
Before applying for a patent, the invention’s patentability must meet all the requirements set by the Patent Office. Here in the Philippines, the office responsible in doing this meticulous work is the Philippine Patent (for invention) under the arm of the Bureau of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office or the IPO.
For any invention to get the nod of being patented, it must possess the technical solution to a specific problem in any field of human activity. This invention must be have a sound application to industries and must involve new and capable of doing inventive steps
Exemptions to the Rule
There are things that are not recognized as patentable. Under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and because technological inventions are popular these days, computer software, programs and applications are not patentable. But they can be protected by copyright.
Those things originating from nature are not patentable too. Natural products that are found in nature are excluded under the Philippine law. But patenting those products which come from nature whose form does not occur naturally may be patentable. Example of this is the antibiotic.
Non-biological, microbiological and microorganisms are all excluded for applying for patent. Plant and animal breed, or any biological processes are not patentable in the country. If this is the case, the Plant Variety Protection Act of 2001 would be the reference.
Who are Required to File?
Under the law, patent application in the Philippines may be filed by a natural person, judirical person or body of persons like a partnership or a corporation. These type of people has the right to patent their inventions and can be files separately or independently if two or more persons made the invention.
How to Apply for Patent registration
There are numerous requirements for anyone who wishes to register his invention. These are the following:
- The Bureau of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office will need the following documents:
- Duly accomplished Request Form
- The name, address and signature of the applicant/applicants. (for non-resident applicant, he needs to submit the name and address of his resident agent.
- Actual description of the invention
- Payment of filing fee which can be paid during the filing of the application or within a month from the filing date.
- Drawings, sketch or schematic diagrams to understand fully how the invention works. It should be noted by the inventor that the drawings or any sketch for that matter must be submitted at the time of filing.
- Abstract of the invention
- Details of the filed application if it is claimed.
- If the application carries out all the requirements, filing date is then granted. In applying for the Patent Registration, filing date is very important.
- All applications are published in the IPO Gazette in case there is a challenge for any identical invention.
- Substantive examination must be filed within 6 months from the date of publication.
- If the application is not new or industrially irrelevant, the examiner has all the right to refuse the registration of the application.
- If application is granted, it will be published in the IPO Gazette within 6 months. This is to accept any interested party to inspect the complete description, claims and drawings of the patent.
Entities for Patent Registration
There are two types of entities that are accepted for patent registration. These are:
- Small Entity. Any person, natural or judirical, whose total assets are valued 100 million pesos or less belong to small entity type. They can be any agency, office, or any Philippine government unit which include government-owned corporations, SUCs.
- Big Entity. Any person, natural or judirical that is presumed to be a big entity unless there is a written statement submitted that suggests contradiction by the natural person or judirical person.
There is a filing fee that corresponds to the type of entity a person belongs:
- Small Entities. The filing fee amounts to ₱1,800.00. The fee for each claim in excess of five is ₱150.00 while for each sheet in excess of thirty is ₱15.00
- Big Entities. The filing fee is ₱3,600.00. The fee for each claim in excess of five is ₱300.00 while the fee for any sheet in excess of thirty is ₱30.00.
The Philippine Patent must be presented in two languages. It can be either in Filipino or English language. Philippine Patent application must disclose the invention in a way that is sufficiently and completely carried out by the skilled person of that particular art. Under Section 25 of the IPO, it is possible for an invention that has been previously disclosed to the public to be patented.
With regards to the number of inventions, only one patent can cover only one invention. The Philippine Patent also covers a group of inventions forming a single general inventive notion.