Here’s How to Apply for a Patent in the Philippines

Anyone who wants to legally protect an original invention should consider applying for a patent 

Early this year, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) revealed that it is targeting a 5% to 10% increase in intellectual property (IP) filings for 2024. In fact, the IPOPHL disclosed that in the first ten months of the previous year, total IP filings reached 41,815. Out of these filings, 3,612 were patents. If you want to learn how to apply for a patent, you’ve come to the right place.

The process of how to apply for a patent is relatively straightforward. It may even be done online should your application meet the qualification. However, it is better to first take note of the requirements as well as the application process before making an attempt. 

What Is a Patent? 

Prior to making any attempt at a filing, you should first know what a patent is and how it differs from a trademark and even a copyright. 

The IPOPHL defines a patent as “an exclusive right that allows the inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling the product of his invention during the life of the patent.” 

“Patent owners may also give permission to, or license, other parties to use their inventions on mutually agreed terms,” the IPOPHL adds. “Owners may also sell their invention rights to someone else, who then becomes the new owner of the patent.” 

So how does it differ from a trademark and a copyright? A trademark only legally protects “words and design elements that identify the source of a product,” according to Investopedia. A copyright, on the other hand, protects works such as writings, music, art, and architecture. 

Can Your Invention Be Patented?

An invention must meet these three conditions set by the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines before it can be deemed patentable: 

  • Has to be new
  • Involves an inventive step
  • Industrially applicable

Here in the Philippines, the term of a patent lasts for 20 years from the date when the filing was made. However, it should be noted that once the patent reaches its fifth year, it must be maintained annually. 

How to Apply for a Patent 

Before you even begin to gather all the necessary documents for your application, practice due diligence first by checking for existing patents and applications. This can be done through the IPOPHL website. 

The next step is to determine if you are eligible to make an online application or if you have to submit the application in person. According to IPOPHL’s website, applications that exceed 250 pages are required to be submitted in person. If your proposed patent is less than 250 pages, you can make your filing online

How to Apply for a Patent: Requirements

To submit a patent filing, you have to fill out the Patent Application Form. If you are submitting in person, make sure you have three copies of this form. 

You will likewise be asked to provide more details about the patent. The following information must be included in your specification and description:

  • Title
  • A brief statement of its nature and purposes
  • Drawings of the invention
  • Brief explanation of the drawings, if any
  • Complete and detailed enabling description
  • Distinct and explicit claim or claims which the applicant seeks to be protected
  • Abstract of the invention

There are fees that you are required to pay once your documents have been submitted. The complete list of fees is available on the IPOPHL website