New IP rules and regulations


Ignacio S. Sapalo and Anne Mariae Celeste V. Jumadla

The IPO of the Philippines published a revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for Patents, Utility Model and Industrial Designs on April 26, 2011, with further corrections and amendments on July 13, 2011.

Patentable and non-patentable inventions

Under the revised IRR, computer-related inventions are among the statutory classes of patentable inventions, together with products, processes and their improvements. This departs from the enumeration made under Republic Act No. 8293, or the IP Code of the Philippines, that a patentable invention “may be, or may relate to, a product, or process, or an improvement of any of the foregoing”.

Strictly speaking, computer-related inventions do not constitute a separate statutory class. As the law does not treat them as sui generis, computerrelated inventions are evaluated as a product, a process or an improvement of a product or a process. This is in line with the US Supreme Court’s statement in the 1981 Diamond v Diehr case that a process may be patentable irrespective of the particular form of the means used.

IP code, Philippines