Monday, April 30, 2012

ASEAN patent cooperation

The ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Co-operation (AWGIPC) is the ASEAN governmental team working on cooperation within the framework of the ASEAN bloc of 10 South East Asian nations.  One aspect of the AWGIPC's ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan for 2011-2015, is the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) programme.
It began in 2009 to enable sharing of search and examination results amongst the participating ASEAN IP Offices. The goal is to reduce duplication of search and examination work Patent examiners are able to develop search criteria quickly, reduce search time and efficiency.  Patent information databases will be provided too.

Until now language was a barrier to sharing search and examination work. However under a recent review it has been agreed that all documents submitted for the purpose of the ASPEC programme at any participating ASEAN IP Office will be in English. The ASPEC Request form has also been revised.
Unfortunately as with the Patent prosecution highway in ASEAN - see here -not every country has joined, and so only a handful of ASEAN states are yet using the cooperation program.

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