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IPOPHL Upskills Patent Examiners in AI-related Inventions

10-Mar-2021 | Source : Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) | Visits : 1880
TAGUIG - In a bid to pursue a more active role in the global innovation system, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), in collaboration with the Japan Patent Office (JPO), held last week a virtual training for patent examiners to expand their knowledge in artificial intelligence (AI) which is becoming a game-changer technology in various sectors around the world, according to the official website of the IPOPHL.

The five-day intensive skills-training workshop, which began last March 1, gathered some 22 IPOPHL patent examiners specializing in the field of electrical and electronics engineering, information and communication engineering, civil and general engineering, industrial design, and utility model. 

Two of JPO’s expert patent examiners, Mr. Kenta Kitamoto and Mr. Shunsuke Yamamoto, led the activity by sharing their experiences with examining the patentability of AI and computer software-related technologies, applications for which have been on an upward trend at the JPO since 2014.

In the first few days, examiners went through a series of comprehensive courses and interactive lectures focusing on the scope of AI and related emerging technologies.

In the final phases of the workshop, examiners looked into detail at patent examination guidelines at the JPO which also shared case examples that highlight techniques for evaluating an inventive step. 

Overall, the workshop has broadened IPOPHL’s know-how in examining the patent eligibility of AI-related inventions under its examination guidelines for information and communication technology and computer-implemented inventions. 

Capacity-building to serve global needs

“The continuous enhancement of patent examiners’ skills and competence is an important pillar, especially where Fourth Industrial Revolution (4th IR) technologies, such as AI, are concerned,” Director General Rowel S. Barba stressed, noting how AI has been seeing exponential growth in global application across various sectors in the past two decades.

“As we fulfill our mandate of delivering timely and quality patent services on a par with other International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA), IPOPHL is steadfast in upskilling our examiners and keeping them abreast with global innovation trends,” the IPOPHL chief added.

Given its widely recognized position as an ISA/IPEA with a range of expertise including AI, JPO was particularly tapped by IPOPHL under their bilateral cooperation, as facilitated by Bureau of Patents (BOP) Director Lolibeth R. Medrano. 

“We are grateful for the continued support and assistance of the JPO and for sharing their expertise on this fast-evolving field of technology. This helps fulfill our goal of providing patent services that are relevant in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Medrano expressed.

“As the 23rd ISA/IPEA under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, IPOPHL endeavors to maintain relevance and responsiveness of its examination practices to technological developments. It is therefore vital for the BOP to provide continued education programs for its patent examiners in pursuit of IPOPHL’s vision of strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights in the Philippines by producing quality service both as an IP Office and as an ISA/IPEA,” Medrano added.

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