Herce, Elaine: Online registry of Intellectual Property under Public Domain

ABSTRACT

We Filipinos are known for being creative, we are tagged as being “maparaan” in terms of how we handle our lives, and indeed it’s true. We are equipped with creative minds to alleviate difficulties of daily life. And out of these creative minds, we can produce extra ordinary inventions, artistic lyrics, and the likes – some of which depicts the true life of every Filipino. But due to the fact that not all Filipinos are equipped on how to work around using the internet except using their email, then how can they easily register their rights if they have to go through several processes in order to get that license or right from our assigned agencies.

Hence, the provisions under the law on Intellectual Property had said:

“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”.[1]

This paper would like to discuss on how an ordinary lay person will know that a particular work, design or invention is no longer protected under the Intellectual Property Code, whether online registry will ease the difficulty of having to go through in depth research for expired licenses, patents and copyrights so they now can get their works created or designed be registered and protected under the law, the basic aim is to provide every Filipino a useful and friendly tool on how to use World Wide Web to make known their creations.

INTRODUCTION

The IPO was known to be the agency that determines the eligibility of a certain creation to be protected under our law. With that being said, once a creation has been granted such right, the question is how the next individual would know that his creation can be registered with the same agency and that certain rights are about to expire from a subsisting one. By looking into through user – friendly site that caters to all these questions will be a helpful tool for them to acquire their right and be protected under the law.

Under the same provisions on Intellectual Property Law it has been said that:

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. [2]

ISSUES:

An ordinary person normally has the basic skills of working around the internet. Some of which only uses the internet as a tool for research and email. Thus not all of us are equipped with the basic knowledge in navigating and utilizing a particular website.

A. PATENTABILITY OF A CREATION

With the issues of so much creations emerging from the minds of an ordinary Filipino people and as part of the e-Government Program o the IPO , it has created Philippine Patent Online Search Systemiii (PhilPAT – Philippine Patent Online Search System (PhilPAT) under its Industrial Property Library for Patents which enables one to conduct a simple and user-friendly search on its Database containing the Bibliographic Data with searchable fields of information such as Titles, Application/Patent Numbers, Abstracts and Representative Drawings, if any, of IP Philippines granted and published pending patent documents.

With this being said, the database is still showing flaws because it requires multiple parameters that you need to click, type on and functionalities that one has to go through in order to see what information is needed among these parameters with a drop down menu pertaining to a search field.

a.       “CATEGORY” – refers to the types of patent documents, i.e. invention, utility model, and industrial design, which can all or independently be selected from a drop-down menu.

b.       “SEARCH FIELDS” – refers to the following:

1.       TITLE – refers to the title of the published patent application. The original title may be retained, or translated, enhanced, or rewritten by a database producer upon grant.

2.       ABSTRACT – refers to a concise summary of the disclosure of the patent application as contained in the description, claims and drawings, if there are any. An abstract usually contains relevant keywords of a patent.

3.       PATENT NUMBER – refers to the number assigned to a published granted patent document. Follows a different format for patents under R.A. 165 and patents under R.A. 8293.

Example:

  • 1234 or 12345 for patents under R.A. 165
  • XYYYYZZZZZZ for patents under R.A. 8293, where X refers to the category of patents (1 – invention, 2 – utility model, 3 – industrial design)
  • YYYY refers to the year the patent document was filed (1998 to present),
  • ZZZZZZ refers to the six-digit number assigned to a patent document.

4.       ISSUE DATE – refers to the date the patent (i.e. invention, utility model or industrial design) was granted or issued. This is searchable by inputting the date in formats such as “yyyymmdd”, “yyyymm”, “yyyy”, or any number sequence desired, where yyyy refers to year, mm refers to month, and “dd” refers to day.

5.       IPC – also known as the International Patent Classification that has an alphanumeric format, is a hierarchical system, which provides a breakdown of technology into subdivisions. It is used by all the main Patent offices either solely or alongside the national classification system for patents.

Example: A01B1/00, for a complete list of the International Patent Classification Indexes, visit http://www.wipo.org/classifications/ipc/en/.

6.       PH CLASS – refers to the Philippine Patent Classification or national classification system for patents.

For patent documents with CHEMICAL subject matter, PH Class is the same as that of the International Patent Classification System (www.wipo.org/classifications/ipc/en/).

For patent documents with MECHANICAL subject matter, PH Class is the same as that of the US Classification System (www.uspto.gov/go/classification/).

7.       APPLICATION/SERIAL NUMBER – refers to the number assigned upon filing to a published pending patent application. May differ from that of the Patent Number.

Example:

     

  • 1234 or 12345 for patents under R.A. 165
  • XYYYYZZZZZZ for patents under R.A. 8293, where X refers to the category of patents (1 – Invention, 2 – utility model, 3 – industrial design)
  • YYYY refers to the year the patent document was filed (1998 to present),
  • ZZZZZZ refers to the six-digit number assigned to a patent document

8.       INVENTOR – refers to a person or a number of persons who is registered for a patent or a patent application.

9.       APPLICANT/ASSIGNEE – refers to a natural or juridical person, companies, or organizations that are registered as proprietor of the patent or patent application.

10.   PRIORITY NUMBER – refers to the application number of a priority or first filed mother application for which priority rights are claimed.

c.       “FIND”

1.       ALL OCCURENCES (Default) – enables the system to find the occurrences of the keyed-in keyword(s)/input(s) as an embedded word or syllable, or as an independent or separate word. 

Example: “GAS” in “ALL OCCURENCES” may yield a search result in the following format, i.e. “gas”, “gaseous”, “gastric”, “biogases”, “gas-saving”, “gasoline”

2.       AS SEPARATE WORD – enables the system to find the occurrences of the keyed-in keyword(s)/input(s) as an independent or separate word only.

Example: “GAS” in “AS SEPARATE WORD” will yield a search result in the following format, i.e. “gas”

NOTE: For Advanced Search, it is advised to use “ALL OCCURRENCES” (the default value) for a broader search scope, covering all possible relevant documents related to the keyword(s)/input(s) used.

d. “SEARCH KEYWORD(S)/INPUT(S)” – refers to  the term(s)/keyword(s) in alphanumeric format strategically and intelligently chosen based on the available information at hand, which, when entered, as search input(s) for the selected Search Field(s), would produce the expected appropriate search results. The Search Field(s) can be title, abstract, inventor, applicant/assignee, IPC, PH Class, patent number and application/serial number. Use a comma (“,”) for an “OR” function/operator between keywords/inputs in an Entry Box.

e. “OPERATOR” – also known as Boolean operators (“AND”, “OR”), that help to further define the relationship between the entered term(s)/keyword(s) in the respective search fields chosen. The default Operator “AND” further specifies the search inputs to come up with a manageable/reasonable number of search hits/results.

Although it created different types of search pages in the database including the following:

a.         QUICK SEARCH PAGE
The Quick Search page allows you to search the IP Philippines Patent Database using the searchable parameter/s available from the bibliographic data of the patent document. It allows the entry of specific keyword(s) in the text entry box. Only one (1) search keyword is permitted per entry box that corresponds to a particular Search Field (http://www.ipophil.gov.ph/patsearch /other/).

b.         ADVANCED SEARCH PAGE
The advanced search page allows you to search the IP Philippines Patent Database using the information/s available from the patent document. It provides a more flexible means and broader scope/coverage for searching the IP Philippines Patent database(http://www.ipophil.gov.ph/patsearch/). [4]

The problem still lies that a person is obliged to input details which is more tedious than a normal webpage that is user friendly that only provides the needed information.

B. REGISTRABILITY OF A TRADEMARK

Same holds true with trademark search, a list of drop down menu is provided which one has to fill out in order to see a related data like the one shown in the table:

[screenshot provided in the original]

CONCLUSION

With the fast paced life of an individual, one wants to have an easy/quick access to every relevant information that he needs. We all know that as Filipinos, we are gifted with brilliant ideas on how to ease up ones needs and help our nation to develop globally. One important aspect is creating inventions that will be helpful in nation building, but of course one needs to be protected under the law. Our government has agencies that support this advocacy and one is the IPO. True that this agency had developed much as the decades had passed but it has not yet been able to keep up with the on going changes in technology.

One helpful link to assist an individual on his research e.g. patent and trade mark is through the use of the internet, the IPO has created these links such as PHILPAT, and Trademark Search, but as I go through these links, I was overwhelmed with multiple functionalities and parameters that you needed to fill up. I think that it is an important aspect to note that if we truly want our creations to be protected under the law, then why give a person so much task and burden by filling out forms and info when it can be made with one click of the mouse to get to the data you need, but just to get such right to be protected one has to go through these all. It is one field that our government agency must develop in its technology aspect on in order to provide our citizens the much needed assistance and protection under the law with a simple click in the computer.


Endnotes

[1] R.A. 8293 – http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra1997/ra_8293_1997.html

[2] R.A. 8293 – http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra1997/ra_8293_1997.html

[3] http://patents.ipophil.gov.ph/PatSearch/

[4] http://patents.ipophil.gov.ph/PatSearch/FAQs.htm

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