General patent updates from around Southeast Asia

ASEAN and Singapore patent updates

ASEAN: ASPEC Document Submission Guideline

Established on 15 June 2009, the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) is the first regional patent work-sharing programme among ASEAN IP Offices. Namely Offices of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Through the sharing of Search and Examination results between the participating offices, applicants could obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently while maintaining world class quality. Till date, more than 300 ASPEC requests have been submitted. With the time saving through work-sharing, more than two-thirds of these applications have received an office action or has been granted.

The “ASPEC Document Submission Guideline” aims to guide applicants on the requirements of the individual ASEAN Member States. It summarizes the key necessities and pitfalls and helps applicants to accelerate their patent applications in ASEAN through ASPEC in a more effective manner. The Guideline is available here.

ASEAN: Global Innovation Index 2019 sees some great improvements in the ASEAN

Released at the end of last month jointly by WIPO, Cornell University, Paris based business school INSEAD and the 2019 GII Knowledge Partners, Global Innovation Index 2019 (GII) provides insightful information on the level of innovation of over 120 countries and includes more than 80 indicators exploring a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.  In the ASEAN, Vietnam and the Philippines made significant progress this year. Comparing with GII 2018, Viet Nam moved up  by three place from rank no. 45 to 42 and overtook Thailand (43rd) and the Philippines moved up by nineteen place from rank no. 73 to 54. The GII report explains some of the Philippines’ leap, newly available metrics give a more-thorough assessment of its innovative performance, which itself shows signs of progress.  Singapore feel three spots to place eight, one of the reasons is that it fell in indicators such as ecological sustainability and the inflow of foreign direct investment. Malaysia ranks 25th and far behind there are Brunei (71st), Indonesia (85th) and Cambodia (98th). Switzerland maintained its top position in this year’s GII followed by Sweden, the United States and Netherlands.

We foresee that ASEAN Member States will improve their rankings with higher scores due to inflow of investments, the increase of R&D Centers, new legislations and agencies to support innovation such as the recent Philippine Innovation Act and Innovative Startup Act and new and improved tools to measure innovation.

The report is available here.

Singapore: AI inventions accelerated examination

With  effect from 26 April 2019, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore will accelerate grants of AI-related patent applications to just six months instead of at least two years or more. The Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) should help applicants who need to bring their AI related inventions faster to global markets.