Fast tracking health related patents in the Philippines
The Philippines government has issued dozens of rules to cope with the Covid 19 crisis and the emergency lockdown that has been in place since 16 March. One example is electronic Supreme Court complaint and information filings.
The IPO office had already issued a Memorandum Circular No. 2020-009 which extended deadlines for all papers, pleadings, documents, and payments due on any IP allocation due during the lockdown period (initially proposed as 16 March 2020 to 15 May 2020) for 60 calendar days.
The IPO has now issued a second Memorandum that applies specifically to patents, utility models and designs for personal protective equipment, medical/health care equipment/devices, and pharmaceutical products that may be urgently needed for the Covid 19 pandemic. They realized that the extensions of time under their first Memorandum Circular No. 2020-009 could delay IP registrations for this important subject matter, which could hinder access to these technologies during the public health crisis.
So the second Memorandum Circular No. 2020-010 relates to filing of Third Party Observation and Adverse Information during the lockdown. It basically prevents extension of time for these two events during the application period for IP applications for the covered subject matter. The result should be fewer delays in processing of these applications.
This is forward thinking and essentially helps fast tracking potentially important technology that supports healthcare.