REPUBLIC ACT No. 8293 June 6, 1997
AN ACT PRESCRIBING THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CODE AND ESTABLISHING THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, PROVIDING FOR ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines."
Section 2. Declaration of State Policy. - The State recognizes that an effective intellectual and industrial property system is vital to the development of domestic and creative activity, facilitates transfer of technology, attracts foreign investments, and ensures market access for our products. It shall protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creations, particularly when beneficial to the people, for such periods as provided in this Act.
The use of intellectual property bears a social function. To this end, the State shall promote the diffusion of knowledge and information for the promotion of national development and progress and the common good.
It is also the policy of the State to streamline administrative procedures of registering patents, trademarks and copyright, to liberalize the registration on the transfer of technology, and to enhance the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Philippines. (n)
Section 3. International Conventions and Reciprocity. - Any person who is a national or who is domiciled or has a real and effective industrial establishment in a country which is a party to any convention, treaty or agreement relating to intellectual property rights or the repression of unfair competition, to which the Philippines is also a party, or extends reciprocal rights to nationals of the Philippines by law, shall be entitled to benefits to the extent necessary to give effect to any provision of such convention, treaty or reciprocal law, in addition to the rights to which any owner of an intellectual property right is otherwise entitled by this Act. (n)
Section 4. Definitions. - 4.1. The term "intellectual property rights" consists of:
a) Copyright and Related Rights;
b) Trademarks and Service Marks;
c) Geographic Indications;
d) Industrial Designs;
f) Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits; and
g) Protection of Undisclosed Information (n, TRIPS).
4.2. The term "technology transfer arrangements" refers to contracts or agreements involving the transfer of systematic knowledge for the manufacture of a product, the application of a process, or rendering of a service including management contracts; and the transfer, assignment or licensing of all forms of intellectual property rights, including licensing of computer software except computer software developed for mass market.
4.3. The term "Office" refers to the Intellectual Property Office created by this Act.
4.4. The term "IPO Gazette" refers to the gazette published by the Office under this Act. (n)
Section 5. Functions of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). - 5.1. To administer and implement the State policies declared in this Act, there is hereby created the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which shall have the following functions:
a) Examine applications for grant of letters patent for inventions and register utility models and industrial designs;
b) Examine applications for the registration of marks, geographic indication, integrated circuits;
c) Register technology transfer arrangements and settle disputes involving technology transfer payments covered by the provisions of Part II, Chapter IX on Voluntary Licensing and develop and implement strategies to promote and facilitate technology transfer;
d) Promote the use of patent information as a tool for technology development;
e) Publish regularly in its own publication the patents, marks, utility models and industrial designs, issued and approved, and the technology transfer arrangements registered;
f) Administratively adjudicate contested proceedings affecting intellectual property rights; and
g) Coordinate with other government agencies and the private sector efforts to formulate and implement plans and policies to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights in the country.
5.2. The Office shall have custody of all records, books, drawings, specifications, documents, and other papers and things relating to intellectual property rights applications filed with the Office. (n)
Section 6. The Organizational Structure of the IPO. - 6.1. The Office shall be headed by a Director General who shall be assisted by two (2) Deputies Director General.
6.2. The Office shall be divided into six (6) Bureaus, each of which shall be headed by a Director and assisted by an Assistant Director. These Bureaus are:
a) The Bureau of Patents;
b) The Bureau of Trademarks;
c) The Bureau of Legal Affairs;
d) The Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau;
e) The Management Information System and EDP Bureau; and
f) The Administrative, Financial and Personnel Services Bureau.
6.3. The Director General, Deputies Director General, Directors and Assistant Directors shall be appointed by the President, and the other officers and employees of the Office by the Secretary of Trade and Industry, conformably with and under the Civil Service Law. (n)
Section 7. The Director General and Deputies Director General. - 7.1. Functions. - The Director General shall exercise the following powers and functions:
a) Manage and direct all functions and activities of the Office, including the promulgation of rules and regulations to implement the objectives, policies, plans, programs and projects of the Office: Provided, That in the exercise of the authority to propose policies and standards in relation to the following: (1) the effective, efficient, and economical operations of the Office requiring statutory enactment; (2) coordination with other agencies of government in relation to the enforcement of intellectual property rights; (3) the recognition of attorneys, agents, or other persons representing applicants or other parties before the Office; and (4) the establishment of fees for the filing and processing of an application for a patent, utility model or industrial design or mark or a collective mark, geographic indication and other marks of ownership, and for all other services performed and materials furnished by the Office, the Director General shall be subject to the supervision of the Secretary of Trade and Industry;
b) Exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all decisions rendered by the Director of Legal Affairs, the Director of Patents, the Director of Trademarks, and the Director of the Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau. The decisions of the Director General in the exercise of his appellate jurisdiction in respect of the decisions of the Director of Patents, and the Director of Trademarks shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals in accordance with the Rules of Court; and those in respect of the decisions of the Director of Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau shall be appealable to the Secretary of Trade and Industry; and
c) Exercise original jurisdiction to resolve disputes relating to the terms of a license involving the author's right to public performance or other communication of his work. The decisions of the Director General in these cases shall be appealable to the Secretary of Trade and Industry.
7.2. Qualifications. - The Director General and the Deputies Director General must be natural born citizens of the Philippines, at least thirty-five (35) years of age on the day of their appointment, holders of a college degree, and of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence: Provided, That the Director General and at least one (1) Deputy Director General shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years: Provided further, That in the selection of the Director General and the Deputies Director General, consideration shall be given to such qualifications as would result, as far as practicable, in the balanced representation in the Directorate General of the various fields of intellectual property.
7.3. Term of Office. - The Director General and the Deputies Director General shall be appointed by the President for a term of five (5) years and shall be eligible for reappointment only once: Provided, That the first Director General shall have a first term of seven (7) years. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor.
7.4. The Office of the Director General. - The Office of the Director General shall consist of the Director General and the Deputies Director General, their immediate staff and such Offices and Services that the Director General will set up to support directly the Office of the Director General. (n)
Section 8. The Bureau of Patents. - The Bureau of Patents shall have the following functions:
8.1. Search and examination of patent applications and the grant of patents;
8.2. Registration of utility models, industrial designs, and integrated circuits; and
8.3. Conduct studies and researches in the field of patents in order to assist the Director General in formulating policies on the administration and examination of patents. (n)
Section 9. The Bureau of Trademarks. - The Bureau of Trademarks shall have the following functions:
9.1. Search and examination of the applications for the registration of marks, geographic indications and other marks of ownership and the issuance of the certificates of registration; and
9.2. Conduct studies and researches in the field of trademarks in order to assist the Director General in formulating policies on the administration and examination of trademarks. (n)
Section 10. The Bureau of Legal Affairs. - The Bureau of Legal Affairs shall have the following functions:
10.1. Hear and decide opposition to the application for registration of marks; cancellation of trademarks; subject to the provisions of Section 64, cancellation of patents, utility models, and industrial designs; and petitions for compulsory licensing of patents;
10.2. (a) Exercise original jurisdiction in administrative complaints for violations of laws involving intellectual property rights: Provided, That its jurisdiction is limited to complaints where the total damages claimed are not less than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000): Provided further, That availment of the provisional remedies may be granted in accordance with the Rules of Court. The Director of Legal Affairs shall have the power to hold and punish for contempt all those who disregard orders or writs issued in the course of the proceedings. (n)
(b) After formal investigation, the Director for Legal Affairs may impose one (1) or more of the following administrative penalties:
(i) The issuance of a cease and desist order which shall specify the acts that the respondent shall cease and desist from and shall require him to submit a compliance report within a reasonable time which shall be fixed in the order;
(ii) The acceptance of a voluntary assurance of compliance or discontinuance as may be imposed. Such voluntary assurance may include one or more of the following:
(1) An assurance to comply with the provisions of the intellectual property law violated;
(2) An assurance to refrain from engaging in unlawful and unfair acts and practices subject of the formal investigation;
(3) An assurance to recall, replace, repair, or refund the money value of defective goods distributed in commerce; and
(4) An assurance to reimburse the complainant the expenses and costs incurred in prosecuting the case in the Bureau of Legal Affairs.
The Director of Legal Affairs may also require the respondent to submit periodic compliance reports and file a bond to guarantee compliance of his undertaking;
(iii) The condemnation or seizure of products which are subject of the offense. The goods seized hereunder shall be disposed of in such manner as may be deemed appropriate by the Director of Legal Affairs, such as by sale, donation to distressed local governments or to charitable or relief institutions, exportation, recycling into other goods, or any combination thereof, under such guidelines as he may provide;
(iv) The forfeiture of paraphernalia and all real and personal properties which have been used in the commission of the offense;
(v) The imposition of administrative fines in such amount as deemed reasonable by the Director of Legal Affairs, which shall in no case be less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) nor more than One hundred fifty thousand pesos (P150,000). In addition, an additional fine of not more than One thousand pesos (P1,000) shall be imposed for each day of continuing violation;
(vi) The cancellation of any permit, license, authority, or registration which may have been granted by the Office, or the suspension of the validity thereof for such period of time as the Director of Legal Affairs may deem reasonable which shall not exceed one (1) year;
(vii) The withholding of any permit, license, authority, or registration which is being secured by the respondent from the Office;
(viii) The assessment of damages;
(ix) Censure; and
(x) Other analogous penalties or sanctions. (Secs. 6, 7, 8, and 9, Executive Order No. 913 a)
10.3. The Director General may by Regulations establish the procedure to govern the implementation of this Section. (n)
Section 11. The Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau. - The Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau shall have the following functions:
11.1. Support the search and examination activities of the Office through the following activities:
(a) Maintain and upkeep classification systems whether they be national or international such as the International Patent Classification (IPC) system;
(b) Provide advisory services for the determination of search patterns;
(c) Maintain search files and search rooms and reference libraries; and
(d) Adapt and package industrial property information.
11.2. Establish networks or intermediaries or regional representatives;
11.3. Educate the public and build awareness on intellectual property through the conduct of seminars and lectures, and other similar activities;
11.4. Establish working relations with research and development institutions as well as with local and international intellectual property professional groups and the like;
11.5. Perform state-of-the-art searches;
11.6. Promote the use of patent information as an effective tool to facilitate the development of technology in the country;
11.7. Provide technical, advisory, and other services relating to the licensing and promotion of technology, and carry out an efficient and effective program for technology transfer; and
11.8. Register technology transfer arrangements, and settle disputes involving technology transfer payments. (n)
Section 12. The Management Information Services and EDP Bureau. - The Management Information Services and EDP Bureau shall:
12.1. Conduct automation planning, research and development, testing of systems, contracts with firms, contracting, purchase and maintenance of equipment, design and maintenance of systems, user consultation, and the like; and
12.2. Provide management information support and service to the Office. (n)
Section 13. The Administrative, Financial and Human Resource Development Service Bureau. - 13.1. The Administrative Service shall: (a) Provide services relative to procurement and allocation of supplies and equipment, transportation, messengerial work, cashiering, payment of salaries and other Office's obligations, office maintenance, proper safety and security, and other utility services; and comply with government regulatory requirements in the areas of performance appraisal, compensation and benefits, employment records and reports;
(b) Receive all applications filed with the Office and collect fees therefor, and
(c) Publish patent applications and grants, trademark applications, and registration of marks, industrial designs, utility models, geographic indication, and lay-out-designs of integrated circuits registrations.
13.2. The Patent and Trademark Administration Services shall perform the following functions among others:
(a) Maintain registers of assignments, mergings, licenses, and bibliographic on patents and trademarks;
(b) Collect maintenance fees, issue certified copies of documents in its custody and perform similar other activities; and
(c) Hold in custody all the applications filed with the office, and all patent grants, certificate of registrations issued by the office, and the like.
13.3. The Financial Service shall formulate and manage a financial program to ensure availability and proper utilization of funds; provide for an effective monitoring system of the financial operations of the Office; and
13.4. The Human Resource Development Service shall design and implement human resource development plans and programs for the personnel of the Office; provide for present and future manpower needs of the organization; maintain high morale and favorable employee attitudes towards the organization through the continuing design and implementation of employee development programs. (n)
Section 14. Use of Intellectual Property Rights Fees by the IPO. - 14.1. For a more effective and expeditious implementation of this Act, the Director General shall be authorized to retain, without need of a separate approval from any government agency, and subject only to the existing accounting and auditing rules and regulations, all the fees, fines, royalties and other charges, collected by the Office under this Act and the other laws that the Office will be mandated to administer, for use in its operations, like upgrading of its facilities, equipment outlay, human resource development, and the acquisition of the appropriate office space, among others, to improve the delivery of its services to the public. This amount, which shall be in addition to the Office's annual budget, shall be deposited and maintained in a separate account or fund, which may be used or disbursed directly by the Director General.
14.2. After five (5) years from the coming into force of this Act, the Director General shall, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Trade and Industry, determine if the fees and charges mentioned in Subsection 14.1 hereof that the Office shall collect are sufficient to meet its budgetary requirements. If so, it shall retain all the fees and charges it shall collect under the same conditions indicated in said Subsection 14.1 but shall forthwith, cease to receive any funds from the annual budget of the National Government; if not, the provisions of said Subsection 14.1 shall continue to apply until such time when the Director General, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Trade and Industry, certifies that the above-stated fees and charges the Office shall collect are enough to fund its operations. (n)
Section 15. Special Technical and Scientific Assistance. - The Director General is empowered to obtain the assistance of technical, scientific or other qualified officers and employees of other departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including corporations owned, controlled or operated by the Government, when deemed necessary in the consideration of any matter submitted to the Office relative to the enforcement of the provisions of this Act. (Sec. 3, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 16. Seal of Office. - The Office shall have a seal, the form and design of which shall be approved by the Director General. (Sec. 4, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 17. Publication of Laws and Regulations. - The Director General shall cause to be printed and make available for distribution, pamphlet copies of this Act, other pertinent laws, executive orders and information circulars relating to matters within the jurisdiction of the Office. (Sec. 5, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 18. The IPO Gazette. - All matters required to be published under this Act shall be published in the Office's own publication to be known as the IPO Gazette. (n)
Section 19. Disqualification of Officers and Employees of the Office. - All officers and employees of the Office shall not apply or act as an attorney or patent agent of an application for a grant of patent, for the registration of a utility model, industrial design or mark nor acquire, except by hereditary succession, any patent or utility model, design registration, or mark or any right, title or interest therein during their employment and for one (1) year thereafter. (Sec. 77, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 20. Definition of Terms Used in Part II, The Law on Patents. - As used in Part II, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
20.1. "Bureau" means the Bureau of Patents,
20.2. "Director" means the Director of Patents;
20.3. "Regulations" means the Rules of Practice in Patent Cases formulated by the Director of Patents and promulgated by the Director General;
20.4. "Examiner" means the patent examiner;
20.5. "Patent application" or "application" means an application for a patent for an invention except in Chapters XII and XIII, where "application" means an application for a utility model and an industrial design, respectively; and
20.6. "Priority date" means the date of filing of the foreign application for the same invention referred to in Section 31 of this Act. (n)
Section 21. Patentable Inventions. - Any technical solution of a problem in any field of human activity which is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable shall be Patentable. It may be, or may relate to, a product, or process, or an improvement of any of the foregoing. (Sec. 7, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 22. Non-Patentable Inventions. - The following shall be excluded from patent protection:
22.1. Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
22.2. Schemes, rules and methods of performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;
22.3. Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body. This provision shall not apply to products and composition for use in any of these methods;
22.4. Plant varieties or animal breeds or essentially biological process for the production of plants or animals. This provision shall not apply to micro-organisms and non-biological and microbiological processes.
Provisions under this subsection shall not preclude Congress to consider the enactment of a law providing sui generis protection of plant varieties and animal breeds and a system of community intellectual rights protection:
22.5. Aesthetic creations; and
22.6. Anything which is contrary to public order or morality. (Sec. 8, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 23. Novelty. . - An invention shall not be considered new if it forms part of a prior art. (Sec. 9, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 24. Prior Art. - Prior art shall consist of:
24.1. Everything which has been made available to the public anywhere in the world, before the filing date or the priority date of the application claiming the invention; and
24.2. The whole contents of an application for a patent, utility model, or industrial design registration, published in accordance with this Act, filed or effective in the Philippines, with a filing or priority date that is earlier than the filing or priority date of the application: Provided, That the application which has validly claimed the filing date of an earlier application under Section 31 of this Act, shall be prior art with effect as of the filing date of such earlier application: Provided further, That the applicant or the inventor identified in both applications are not one and the same. (Sec. 9, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 25. Non-Prejudicial Disclosure. . - 25.1. The disclosure of information contained in the application during the twelve (12) months preceding the filing date or the priority date of the application shall not prejudice the applicant on the ground of lack of novelty if such disclosure was made by:
(a) The inventor;
(b) A patent office and the information was contained (a) in another application filed by the inventor and should not have been disclosed by the office, or (b) in an application filed without the knowledge or consent of the inventor by a third party which obtained the information directly or indirectly from the inventor; or
(c) A third party which obtained the information directly or indirectly from the inventor.
25.2. For the purposes of Subsection 25.1, "inventor" also means any person who, at the filing date of application, had the right to the patent. (n)
Section 26. Inventive Step. - An invention involves an inventive step if, having regard to prior art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art at the time of the filing date or priority date of the application claiming the invention. (n)
Section 27. Industrial Applicability. - An invention that can be produced and used in any industry shall be industrially applicable. (n)
Section 28. Right to a Patent. - The right to a patent belongs to the inventor, his heirs, or assigns. When two (2) or more persons have jointly made an invention, the right to a patent shall belong to them jointly. (Sec. 10, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 29. First to File Rule. - If two (2) or more persons have made the invention separately and independently of each other, the right to the patent shall belong to the person who filed an application for such invention, or where two or more applications are filed for the same invention, to the applicant who has the earliest filing date or, the earliest priority date. (3rd sentence, Sec. 10, R.A. No. 165a.)
Section 30. Inventions Created Pursuant to a Commission. - 30.1. The person who commissions the work shall own the patent, unless otherwise provided in the contract.
30.2. In case the employee made the invention in the course of his employment contract, the patent shall belong to:
(a) The employee, if the inventive activity is not a part of his regular duties even if the employee uses the time, facilities and materials of the employer.
(b) The employer, if the invention is the result of the performance of his regularly-assigned duties, unless there is an agreement, express or implied, to the contrary. (n)
Section 31. Right of Priority. . - An application for patent filed by any person who has previously applied for the same invention in another country which by treaty, convention, or law affords similar privileges to Filipino citizens, shall be considered as filed as of the date of filing the foreign application: Provided, That: (a) the local application expressly claims priority; (b) it is filed within twelve (12) months from the date the earliest foreign application was filed; and (c) a certified copy of the foreign application together with an English translation is filed within six (6) months from the date of filing in the Philippines. (Sec. 15, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 32. The Application. - 32.1. The patent application shall be in Filipino or English and shall contain the following:
(a) A request for the grant of a patent;
(b) A description of the invention;
(c) Drawings necessary for the understanding of the invention;
(d) One or more claims; and
(e) An abstract.
32.2. No patent may be granted unless the application identifies the inventor. If the applicant is not the inventor, the Office may require him to submit said authority. (Sec. 13, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 33. Appointment of Agent or Representative. - An applicant who is not a resident of the Philippines must appoint and maintain a resident agent or representative in the Philippines upon whom notice or process for judicial or administrative procedure relating to the application for patent or the patent may be served. (Sec. 11, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 34. The Request. - The request shall contain a petition for the grant of the patent, the name and other data of the applicant, the inventor and the agent and the title of the invention. (n)
Section 35. Disclosure and Description of the Invention. - 35.1. Disclosure. - The application shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art. Where the application concerns a microbiological process or the product thereof and involves the use of a micro-organism which cannot be sufficiently disclosed in the application in such a way as to enable the invention to be carried out by a person skilled in the art, and such material is not available to the public, the application shall be supplemented by a deposit of such material with an international depository institution.
35.2. Description. - The Regulations shall prescribe the contents of the description and the order of presentation. (Sec. 14, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 36. The Claims. - 36.1. The application shall contain one (1) or more claims which shall define the matter for which protection is sought. Each claim shall be clear and concise, and shall be supported by the description.
36.2. The Regulations shall prescribe the manner of the presentation of claims. (n)
Section 37. The Abstract. - The abstract shall consist of a concise summary of the disclosure of the invention as contained in the description, claims and drawings in preferably not more than one hundred fifty (150) words. It must be drafted in a way which allows the clear understanding of the technical problem, the gist of the solution of that problem through the invention, and the principal use or uses of the invention. The abstract shall merely serve for technical information. (n)
Section 38. Unity of Invention. - 38.1. The application shall relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions forming a single general inventive concept.
38.2. If several independent inventions which do not form a single general inventive concept are claimed in one application, the Director may require that the application be restricted to a single invention. A later application filed for an invention divided out shall be considered as having been filed on the same day as the first application: Provided, That the later application is filed within four (4) months after the requirement to divide becomes final or within such additional time, not exceeding four (4) months, as may be granted: Provided further, That each divisional application shall not go beyond the disclosure in the initial application.
38.3. The fact that a patent has been granted on an application that did not comply with the requirement of unity of invention shall not be a ground to cancel the patent. (Sec. 17, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 39. Information Concerning Corresponding Foreign Application for Patents. - The applicant shall, at the request of the Director, furnish him with the date and number of any application for a patent filed by him abroad, hereafter referred to as the "foreign application," relating to the same or essentially the same invention as that claimed in the application filed with the Office and other documents relating to the foreign application. (n)
Section 40. Filing Date Requirements. - 40.1. The filing date of a patent application shall be the date of receipt by the Office of at least the following elements:
(a) An express or implicit indication that a Philippine patent is sought;
(b) Information identifying the applicant; and
(c) Description of the invention and one (1) or more claims in Filipino or English.
40.2. If any of these elements is not submitted within the period set by the Regulations, the application shall be considered withdrawn. (n)
Section 41. According a Filing Date. - The Office shall examine whether the patent application satisfies the requirements for the grant of date of filing as provided in Section 40 hereof. If the date of filing cannot be accorded, the applicant shall be given an opportunity to correct the deficiencies in accordance with the implementing Regulations. If the application does not contain all the elements indicated in Section 40, the filing date should be that date when all the elements are received. If the deficiencies are not remedied within the prescribed time limit, the application shall be considered withdrawn. (n)
Section 42. Formality Examination. - 42.1. After the patent application has been accorded a filing date and the required fees have been paid on time in accordance with the Regulations, the applicant shall comply with the formal requirements specified by Section 32 and the Regulations within the prescribed period, otherwise the application shall be considered withdrawn.
42.2. The Regulations shall determine the procedure for the re-examination and revival of an application as well as the appeal to the Director of Patents from any final action by the examiner. (Sec. 16, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 43. Classification and Search. - An application that has complied with the formal requirements shall be classified and a search conducted to determine the prior art. (n)
Section 44. Publication of Patent Application. - 44.1. The patent application shall be published in the IPO Gazette together with a search document established by or on behalf of the Office citing any documents that reflect prior art, after the expiration of eighteen ( 18) months from the filing date or priority date.
44.2. After publication of a patent application, any interested party may inspect the application documents filed with the Office.
44.3. The Director General subject to the approval of the Secretary of Trade and Industry, may prohibit or restrict the publication of an application, if in his opinion, to do so would be prejudicial to the national security and interests of the Republic of the Philippines. (n)
Section 45. Confidentiality Before Publication. - A patent application, which has not yet been published, and all related documents, shall not be made available for inspection without the consent of the applicant. (n)
Section 46. Rights Conferred by a Patent Application After Publication. - The applicant shall have all the rights of a patentee under Section 76 against any person who, without his authorization, exercised any of the rights conferred under Section 71 of this Act in relation to the invention claimed in the published patent application, as if a patent had been granted for that invention: Provided, That the said person had:
46.1. Actual knowledge that the invention that he was using was the subject matter of a published application; or
46.2. Received written notice that the invention that he was using was the subject matter of a published application being identified in the said notice by its serial number: Provided, That the action may not be filed until after the grant of a patent on the published application and within four (4) years from the commission of the acts complained of. (n)
Section 47. Observation by Third Parties. - Following the publication of the patent application, any person may present observations in writing concerning the patentability of the invention. Such observations shall be communicated to the applicant who may comment on them. The Office shall acknowledge and put such observations and comment in the file of the application to which it relates. (n)
Section 48. Request for Substantive Examination. - 48.1. The application shall be deemed withdrawn unless within six (6) months from the date of publication under Section 41, a written request to determine whether a patent application meets the requirements of Sections 21 to 27 and Sections 32 to 39 and the fees have been paid on time.
48.2. Withdrawal of the request for examination shall be irrevocable and shall not authorize the refund of any fee. (n)
Section 49. Amendment of Application. - An applicant may amend the patent application during examination: Provided, That such amendment shall not include new matter outside the scope of the disclosure contained in the application as filed. (n)
Section 50. Grant of Patent. - 50.1. If the application meets the requirements of this Act, the Office shall grant the patent: Provided, That all the fees are paid on time.
50.2. If the required fees for grant and printing are not paid in due time, the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.
50.3. A patent shall take effect on the date of the publication of the grant of the patent in the IPO Gazette. (Sec. 18, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 51. Refusal of the Application. - 51.1. The final order of refusal of the examiner to grant the patent shall be appealable to the Director in accordance with this Act.
51.2. The Regulations shall provide for the procedure by which an appeal from the order of refusal from the Director shall be undertaken. (n)
Section 52. Publication Upon Grant of Patent. - 52.1. The grant of the patent together with other related information shall be published in the IPO Gazette within the time prescribed by the Regulations.
52.2. Any interested party may inspect the complete description, claims, and drawings of the patent on file with the Office. (Sec. 18, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 53. Contents of Patent. - The patent shall be issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines under the seal of the Office and shall be signed by the Director, and registered together with the description, claims, and drawings, if any, in books and records of the Office. (Secs. 19 and 20, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 54. Term of Patent. - The term of a patent shall be twenty (20) years from the filing date of the application. (Sec. 21, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 55. Annual Fees. - 55.1. To maintain the patent application or patent, an annual fee shall be paid upon the expiration of four (4) years from the date the application was published pursuant to Section 44 hereof, and on each subsequent anniversary of such date. Payment may be made within three (3) months before the due date. The obligation to pay the annual fees shall terminate should the application be withdrawn, refused, or cancelled.
55.2. If the annual fee is not paid, the patent application shall be deemed withdrawn or the patent considered as lapsed from the day following the expiration of the period within which the annual fees were due. A notice that the application is deemed withdrawn or the lapse of a patent for non-payment of any annual fee shall be published in the IPO Gazette and the lapse shall be recorded in the Register of the Office.
55.3. A grace period of six (6) months shall be granted for the payment of the annual fee, upon payment of the prescribed surcharge for delayed payment. (Sec. 22, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 56. Surrender of Patent. - 56.1. The owner of the patent, with the consent of all persons having grants or licenses or other right, title or interest in and to the patent and the invention covered thereby, which have been recorded in the Office, may surrender his patent or any claim or claims forming part thereof to the Office for cancellation.
56.2. A person may give notice to the Office of his opposition to the surrender of a patent under this section, and if he does so, the Bureau shall notify the proprietor of the patent and determine the question.
56.3. If the Office is satisfied that the patent may properly be surrendered, he may accept the offer and, as from the day when notice of his acceptance is published in the IPO Gazette, the patent shall cease to have effect, but no action for infringement shall lie and no right compensation shall accrue for any use of the patented invention before that day for the services of the government. (Sec. 24, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 57. Correction of Mistakes of the Office. - The Director shall have the power to correct, without fee, any mistake in a patent incurred through the fault of the Office when clearly disclosed in the records thereof, to make the patent conform to the records. (Sec. 25, R.A. No. 165)
Section 58. Correction of Mistake in the Application. - On request of any interested person and payment of the prescribed fee, the Director is authorized to correct any mistake in a patent of a formal and clerical nature, not incurred through the fault of the Office. (Sec. 26, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 59. Changes in Patents. - 59.1. The owner of a patent shall have the right to request the Bureau to make the changes in the patent in order to:
(a) Limit the extent of the protection conferred by it;
(b) Correct obvious mistakes or to correct clerical errors; and
(c) Correct mistakes or errors, other than those referred to in letter (b), made in good faith: Provided, That where the change would result in a broadening of the extent of protection conferred by the patent, no request may be made after the expiration of two (2) years from the grant of a patent and the change shall not affect the rights of any third party which has relied on the patent, as published.
59.2. No change in the patent shall be permitted under this section, where the change would result in the disclosure contained in the patent going beyond the disclosure contained in the application filed.
59.3. If, and to the extent to which the Office changes the patent according to this section, it shall publish the same. (n)
Section 60. Form and Publication of Amendment. - An amendment or correction of a patent shall be accomplished by a certificate of such amendment or correction, authenticated by the seal of the Office and signed by the Director, which certificate shall be attached to the patent. Notice of such amendment or correction shall be published in the IPO Gazette and copies of the patent kept or furnished by the Office shall include a copy of the certificate of amendment or correction. (Sec. 27, R.A. No. 165)
Section 61. Cancellation of Patents. - 61.1. Any interested person may, upon payment of the required fee, petition to cancel the patent or any claim thereof, or parts of the claim, on any of the following grounds:
(a) That what is claimed as the invention is not new or Patentable;
(b) That the patent does not disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by any person skilled in the art; or
(c) That the patent is contrary to public order or morality.
61.2. Where the grounds for cancellation relate to some of the claims or parts of the claim, cancellation may be effected to such extent only. (Secs. 28 and 29, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 62. Requirement of the Petition. - The petition for cancellation shall be in writing, verified by the petitioner or by any person in his behalf who knows the facts, specify the grounds upon which it is based, include a statement of the facts to be relied upon, and filed with the Office. Copies of printed publications or of patents of other countries, and other supporting documents mentioned in the petition shall be attached thereto, together with the translation thereof in English, if not in the English language. (Sec. 30, R.A. No. 165)
Section 63. Notice of Hearing. - Upon filing of a petition for cancellation, the Director of Legal Affairs shall forthwith serve notice of the filing thereof upon the patentee and all persons having grants or licenses, or any other right, title or interest in and to the patent and the invention covered thereby, as appears of record in the Office, and of notice of the date of hearing thereon on such persons and the petitioner. Notice of the filing of the petition shall be published in the IPO Gazette. (Sec. 31, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 64. Committee of Three. - In cases involving highly technical issues, on motion of any party, the Director of Legal Affairs may order that the petition be heard and decided by a committee composed of the Director of Legal Affairs as chairman and two (2) members who have the experience or expertise in the field of technology to which the patent sought to be cancelled relates. The decision of the committee shall be appealable to the Director General. (n)
Section 65. Cancellation of the Patent. - 65.1. If the Committee finds that a case for cancellation has been proved, it shall order the patent or any specified claim or claims thereof cancelled.
65.2. If the Committee finds that, taking into consideration the amendment made by the patentee during the cancellation proceedings, the patent and the invention to which it relates meet the requirement of this Act, it may decide to maintain the patent as amended: Provided, That the fee for printing of a new patent is paid within the time limit prescribed in the Regulations.
65.3. If the fee for the printing of a new patent is not paid in due time, the patent should be revoked.
65.4. If the patent is amended under Subsection 65.2 hereof, the Bureau shall, at the same time as it publishes the mention of the cancellation decision, publish the abstract, representative claims and drawings indicating clearly what the amendments consist of. (n)
Section 66. Effect of Cancellation of Patent or Claim. - The rights conferred by the patent or any specified claim or claims cancelled shall terminate. Notice of the cancellation shall be published in the IPO Gazette. Unless restrained by the Director General, the decision or order to cancel by Director of Legal Affairs shall be immediately executory even pending appeal. (Sec. 32, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 67. Patent Application by Persons Not Having the Right to a Patent. . - 67.1. If a person referred to in Section 29 other than the applicant, is declared by final court order or decision as having the right to the patent, such person may, within three (3) months after the decision has become final:
(a) Prosecute the application as his own application in place of the applicant;
(b) File a new patent application in respect of the same invention;
(c) Request that the application be refused; or
(d) Seek cancellation of the patent, if one has already been issued.
67.2. The provisions of Subsection 38.2 shall apply mutatis mutandis to a new application filed under Subsection 67. 1(b). (n)
Section 68. Remedies of the True and Actual Inventor. - If a person, who was deprived of the patent without his consent or through fraud is declared by final court order or decision to be the true and actual inventor, the court shall order for his substitution as patentee, or at the option of the true inventor, cancel the patent, and award actual and other damages in his favor if warranted by the circumstances. (Sec. 33, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 69. Publication of the Court Order. - The court shall furnish the Office a copy of the order or decision referred to in Sections 67 and 68, which shall be published in the IPO Gazette within three (3) months from the date such order or decision became final and executory, and shall be recorded in the register of the Office. (n)
Section 70. Time to File Action in Court. - The actions indicated in Sections 67 and 68 shall be filed within one (1) year from the date of publication made in accordance with Sections 44 and 51, respectively. (n)
Section 71. Rights Conferred by Patent. - 71.1. A patent shall confer on its owner the following exclusive rights:
(a) Where the subject matter of a patent is a product, to restrain, prohibit and prevent any unauthorized person or entity from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing that product;
(b) Where the subject matter of a patent is a process, to restrain, prevent or prohibit any unauthorized person or entity from using the process, and from manufacturing, dealing in, using, selling or offering for sale, or importing any product obtained directly or indirectly from such process.
71.2. Patent owners shall also have the right to assign, or transfer by succession the patent, and to conclude licensing contracts for the same. (Sec. 37, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 72. Limitations of Patent Rights. - The owner of a patent has no right to prevent third parties from performing, without his authorization, the acts referred to in Section 71 hereof in the following circumstances:
72.1. Using a patented product which has been put on the market in the Philippines by the owner of the product, or with his express consent, insofar as such use is performed after that product has been so put on the said market;
72.2. Where the act is done privately and on a non-commercial scale or for a non-commercial purpose: Provided, That it does not significantly prejudice the economic interests of the owner of the patent;
72.3. Where the act consists of making or using exclusively for the purpose of experiments that relate to the subject matter of the patented invention;
72.4. Where the act consists of the preparation for individual cases, in a pharmacy or by a medical professional, of a medicine in accordance with a medical prescription or acts concerning the medicine so prepared;
72.5. Where the invention is used in any ship, vessel, aircraft, or land vehicle of any other country entering the territory of the Philippines temporarily or accidentally: Provided, That such invention is used exclusively for the needs of the ship, vessel, aircraft, or land vehicle and not used for the manufacturing of anything to be sold within the Philippines. (Secs. 38 and 39, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 73. Prior User. - 73.1. Notwithstanding Section 72 hereof, any prior user, who, in good faith was using the invention or has undertaken serious preparations to use the invention in his enterprise or business, before the filing date or priority date of the application on which a patent is granted, shall have the right to continue the use thereof as envisaged in such preparations within the territory where the patent produces its effect.
73.2. The right of the prior user may only be transferred or assigned together with his enterprise or business, or with that part of his enterprise or business in which the use or preparations for use have been made. (Sec. 40, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 74. Use of Invention by Government. - 74.1. A Government agency or third person authorized by the Government may exploit the invention even without agreement of the patent owner where:
(a) The public interest, in particular, national security, nutrition, health or the development of other sectors, as determined by the appropriate agency of the government, so requires; or
(b) A judicial or administrative body has determined that the manner of exploitation, by the owner of the patent or his licensee is anti-competitive.
74.2. The use by the Government, or third person authorized by the Government shall be subject, mutatis mutandis, to the conditions set forth in Sections 95 to 97 and 100 to 102. (Sec. 41, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 75. Extent of Protection and Interpretation of Claims. - 75.1. The extent of protection conferred by the patent shall be determined by the claims, which are to be interpreted in the light of the description and drawings.
75.2. For the purpose of determining the extent of protection conferred by the patent, due account shall be taken of elements which are equivalent to the elements expressed in the claims, so that a claim shall be considered to cover not only all the elements as expressed therein, but also equivalents. (n)
Section 76. Civil Action for Infringement. - 76.1. The making, using, offering for sale, selling, or importing a patented product or a product obtained directly or indirectly from a patented process, or the use of a patented process without the authorization of the patentee constitutes patent infringement.
76.2. Any patentee, or anyone possessing any right, title or interest in and to the patented invention, whose rights have been infringed, may bring a civil action before a court of competent jurisdiction, to recover from the infringer such damages sustained thereby, plus attorney's fees and other expenses of litigation, and to secure an injunction for the protection of his rights.
76.3. If the damages are inadequate or cannot be readily ascertained with reasonable certainty, the court may award by way of damages a sum equivalent to reasonable royalty.
76.4. The court may, according to the circumstances of the case, award damages in a sum above the amount found as actual damages sustained: Provided, That the award does not exceed three (3) times the amount of such actual damages.
76.5. The court may, in its discretion, order that the infringing goods, materials and implements predominantly used in the infringement be disposed of outside the channels of commerce or destroyed, without compensation.
76.6. Anyone who actively induces the infringement of a patent or provides the infringer with a component of a patented product or of a product produced because of a patented process knowing it to be especially adopted for infringing the patented invention and not suitable for substantial non-infringing use shall be liable as a contributory infringer and shall be jointly and severally liable with the infringer. (Sec. 42, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 77. Infringement Action by a Foreign National. - Any foreign national or juridical entity who meets the requirements of Section 3 and not engaged in business in the Philippines, to which a patent has been granted or assigned under this Act, may bring an action for infringement of patent, whether or not it is licensed to do business in the Philippines under existing law. (Sec. 41-A, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 78. Process Patents; Burden of Proof . - If the subject matter of a patent is a process for obtaining a product, any identical product shall be presumed to have been obtained through the use of the patented process if the product is new or there is substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the process and the owner of the patent has been unable despite reasonable efforts, to determine the process actually used. In ordering the defendant to prove that the process to obtain the identical product is different from the patented process, the court shall adopt measures to protect, as far as practicable, his manufacturing and business secrets. (n)
Section 79. Limitation of Action for Damages. - No damages can be recovered for acts of infringement committed more than four (4) years before the institution of the action for infringement. (Sec. 43, R.A. No. 165)
Section 80. Damages, Requirement of Notice. - Damages cannot be recovered for acts of infringement committed before the infringer had known, or had reasonable grounds to know of the patent. It is presumed that the infringer had known of the patent if on the patented product, or on the container or package in which the article is supplied to the public, or on the advertising material relating to the patented product or process, are placed the words "Philippine Patent" with the number of the patent. (Sec. 44, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 81. Defenses in Action for Infringement. - In an action for infringement, the defendant, in addition to other defenses available to him, may show the invalidity of the patent, or any claim thereof, on any of the grounds on which a petition of cancellation can be brought under Section 61 hereof. (Sec. 45, R.A. No. 165)
Section 82. Patent Found Invalid May be Cancelled. - In an action for infringement, if the court shall find the patent or any claim to be invalid, it shall cancel the same, and the Director of Legal Affairs upon receipt of the final judgment of cancellation by the court, shall record that fact in the register of the Office and shall publish a notice to that effect in the IPO Gazette. (Sec. 46, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 83. Assessor in Infringement Action. - 83.1. Two (2) or more assessors may be appointed by the court. The assessors shall be possessed of the necessary scientific and technical knowledge required by the subject matter in litigation. Either party may challenge the fitness of any assessor proposed for appointment.
83.2. Each assessor shall receive a compensation in an amount to be fixed by the court and advanced by the complaining party, which shall be awarded as part of his costs should he prevail in the action. (Sec. 47, R.A. No. 165a)
Section 84. Criminal Action for Repetition of Infringement. - If infringement is repeated by the infringer or by anyone in connivance with him after finality of the judgment of the court against the infringer, the offenders shall, without prejudice to the institution of a civil action for damages, be criminally liable therefor and, upon conviction, shall suffer imprisonment for the period of not less than six (6) months but not more than three (3) years and/or a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) but not more than Three hundred thousand peso
Category: Building Laws
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