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  The ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) is the first regional patent work-sharing programme among nine participating ASEAN Member States (AMS) IP Offices of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The programme was launched on 15 June 2009.The purpose of this programme is to share search and examination results between the participating offices to allow applicants in participating countries to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently. The programme will potentially reduce duplication on the search and examination work done, thereby saving time and effort. Additionally, search and examination work done on a corresponding application serves as a useful reference in producing quality reports.ASPEC operates in the English language in all participating AMS IP Offices and is free-of-charge to the applicant at any participating AMS IP Office. However local search and examination fees at AMS IP Offices will still apply.Source:ASEAN Intellectual Property Portalhttps://www.aseanip.org/Services/ASEAN-Patent-Examination-Co-operation-ASPECAccessed on May 5, 2015ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC)=======================================Aspec Working Group Intellectual Propert Office of Singaporehttp://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/aspac/en/wipo_asean_ip_tyo_12/wipo_asean_ip_tyo_ 12_ref_t3a.pdfFile name: Aspec Working GroupAccessed May 5, 2015============================ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC)Accessed May 5, 2015https://www.ipos.gov.sg/Portals/0/Patents/ASPEC%20Brochure%20-%20ENG%20(Updated%2017%20Apr%202014).pdfFile name: ASPEC Brochure===============================ASEAN Enhances ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation Programmeon Tuesday, 24 July 2012. Posted in ASEAN Secretariat News, 2012The ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) programme will now operate in the English language in all participating ASEAN IP Offices. The enhancement, announced by the Heads of ASEAN Intellectual Property (IP) Offices, was part of a regular review of the ASPEC programme at the recent Special ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Co-operation (AWGIPC) Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2011.Launched in June 2009, the ASPEC programme provides for the sharing of search and examination results amongst the participating ASEAN IP Offices. This would reduce duplication on the search and examination work, thereby facilitating applicants in obtaining corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.As one of the programmes to achieve one of the Strategic Goals of the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2011-2015, the ASPEC programme aims to fost  er  a balanced IP system   that takes into account the varying levels of development of ASEAN Member States and differences in institutional capacity of national IP Offices. This will enable them to deliver timely, quality, and accessible IP services to promote the region as being conducive to the needs of users and generators of IP.The ASPEC programme seeks to further serve to improve the quality of search and examination reports in participating ASEAN IP Offices. Search and examination work conducted by a participating ASEAN IP Office on a corresponding application serves as a valuable reference to another participating ASEAN IP Office. Patent examiners are able to develop their search criteria or strategy more quickly, reduce searching time, and swiftly understand the claimed invention. Patent examiners are also able to have access to information and assessment of prior art found in specific technical databases, local databases, and databases in other languages, which the examiner might otherwise not have access to.The ASPEC programme will benefit entrepreneurs, SMEs and inventors in individual ASEAN member states to obtain patents on their innovation in the region.Following this review, all documents submitted for the purpose of the ASPEC programme at any participating ASEAN IP Office will be in the English language. The ASPEC Request form has also been revised.Interested applicants may consult with ASEAN IP Offices or through their websites for details on the requirements and procedures of ASPEC.About ASPEC programmeASPEC was first proposed by Singapore in 2008 at the 30th Meeting of the AWGIPC in Hoi An, Vietnam and drew participation of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam IP Offices. Brunei Darussalam subsequently participated in the programme on 1 January 2012. ASPEC was the first regional patent cooperation programme and was launched on 15 June 2009.About AWGIPCThe AWGIPC was established in 1996 pursuant to the signing of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Intellectual Property Cooperation. It is mandated to develop, coordinate and implement all IP-related regional programmes and activities in ASEAN. Its work has been guided by the ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2004-2010, ASEAN Economic Blueprint and the ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2011-2015, designed to meet the goals of the ASEAN Economic Community which aims to transform ASEAN into an innovative and competitive region through the use of IP for their nationals and ensuring that the region remains an active player in the international IP communityAssociation of Southeast Asian NationsTitle: ASEAN enhances ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation ProgrammeJul 24, 2012http://www.asean.org/news/asean-secretariat-news/item/asean-enhances-asean-patent-examination-co-operation-programme================================BackgroundThe South East Asian region is among other popular destinations for patent protection. Recent WIPO statistics1 name four South East Asian countries in the top 20 jurisdictions for national/regional phase entries in 2011 -- Singapore was ranked the 12th most entered country via the PCT, followed closely by Indonesia (15  th place), Malaysia (16th place) and Vietnam (19th place). Further, a 70 to 90% majority of national phase applicants in these countries are foreign-based. There could be a multitude of reasons for this popularity, ranging from manufacturers looking to set up a manufacturing base, businesses exploring the potential in expanding their export market, to hi-tech companies seeing the region as a R&D hub. Regardless of the reasons, there is a growing pressure on patent offices in the region to more quickly process patent applications without sacrificing quality of the granted patents.ASPECThe ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Patent Examination Co-operation, or ASPEC, is a regional patent cooperation programme for sharing patent search and examination results. The primary objective of the programme is to provide faster turnaround and better-quality results of patent search and examination. The ASPEC programme can be thought of as a regional network of patent prosecution highways (PPHs). Those regularly seeking patent protection should be familiar with PPHs as referring to usually bilateral agreements between two patent offices. In comparison, the ASPEC programme is a multi-lateral one   It involves 9 ASEAN patent offices2, every one of which will happily accept an ASPEC request supported by search and examination opinions issued by any of the other 8 patent offices.EligibilityYou may benefit from the ASPEC programme if you have corresponding patent applications in two or more ASEAN states. Two applications are considered corresponding if one application claims priority from another one, or if both applications claims priority from the same basic application.The procedure for making use of the ASPEC programme is relatively simple. When requesting examination, an applicant is to submit an ASPEC Request Form, a copy of the search and examination opinion issued by another participating patent office, and a copy of the claims that have been searched and examined on. Some participating patent offices generously allow the ASPEC request be filed when responding to an adverse report and, in Vietnam, even any time before a final determination of grant or refusal.Time savingThe time saved by submitting an ASPEC request primarily arises from the shortened time that an examiner would otherwise require to fully grapple with the invention, conduct relevant documentary searches, and then examine the located documents. Rather, the examiner may re-use the earlier opinion if deemed appropriate to avoid work duplication, or formulate better search strategy to uncover more relevant prior art.The multilateral nature of the ASPEC programme means that one set of search and examination opinions could potentially be referred to by up to 8 other participating patent offices. This will have a significant impact for applicants seeking protection in a large number of ASEAN states. Further, the ASPEC programme has been operating in English since 20123. Therefore, once an English search and examination opinion is obtained (either issued directly by one of the participating patent offices or via translation), there is no need for translation (or re-translation) into the different official languages used by the various ASEAN patent offices.  Quality searches and examinationAny time saving would of course have to be met by quality searches and examination in the first instance issued by competent patent examiners. To this end, IP Australia is heavily involved in training patent examiners in the South East Asian region4 to raise the standards in patent searches and examination. This in turn provides confidence to patent holders in the validity and consistency of their patent rights in the region.While the ASPEC programme aims to reduce duplication of work, participating patent offices are not bound by the earlier search and examination opinion accompanying an ASPEC request. Patent examiners may refer to the earlier opinion, or may well conduct their own searches if the earlier opinion is deemed insufficient.In summary, the ASPEC programme does not replace the national search and examination procedure. The programme aims to improve turnaround and to produce consistent examination results and quality patents across the region. See our ASPEC Quick Facts for a summary of key features of the ASPEC programme.Title: Accelerate your patent grant in southeast asiaJoe MokSeptember 16, 2013Freehills Patent AttorneysWebsite: http://www.freehillspatents.com/resource?id=240Accessed May 5, 2015=============File name: semianr20140117_1.pdf===============The ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation Program (ASPEC) is a system successfully put into operation since June 15, 2009 whereby participating AMS can refer to patent search and examination (S&E) results from other AMS in order to facilitate their own substantive reviews. An office reviewing a patent application is not obliged to accept the foreign approval, and must ultimately decide whether or not, in accordance with its own national laws, before it will grant the patent; nonetheless, the system has improved not only process efficiency (e.g. faster turnaround times), but also S&E quality. All AMS with established patent offices (all but Myanmar and Brunei) currently participate in the ASPEC program.8xxxIntegrated systems of shared resources should help to address the major problem of disparate capacities between AMS offices. Programs like ASPEC and the IP Portal will help bring developing offices up to speed with their more sophisticated neighbors with less need to invest in physical infrastructure at each office. In particular, ASPEC should reduce patent examination times at these offices, especially for applications in unfamiliar and/or  new frontier   fields such as nanotechnology. Nonetheless, if the results-sharing system is to be successful, it is imperative that all examiners using the system have a sufficient command of the English language, as the Working Group has stipulated that result-owner offices must prepare patent  claims and specifications,   for review by AMS, in English. This issue is of special concern for those offices in which English is not an official language. Considering the wide range of English language proficiencies across the region, training to ensure these qualifications will take significant time and resources.xxx
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