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ASEAN region: Expedited examination of PCT- and AI-related applications under new ASPEC initiatives

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The ASEAN member states agreed to broaden the scope of the existing "ASEAN patent examination co-operation" (ASPEC). Under the ASPEC system, the member states are sharing search and examination results for corresponding patent applications at several offices, with the aim to reduce duplication of work and to accelerate the examination procedures.

On 27 August 2019, the member states started two further initiatives under the umbrella of the ASPEC system:

  • "PCT-ASPEC": Extension of existing ASPEC programme to international search reports and international preliminary examination results issued from an ASEAN member as ISA or IPEA (currently Singapore or The Philippines).
  • "ASPEC AIM": Agreement to prioritise applications which are related to artifical intelligence, permitting first office actions within a period of six months

PCT-ASPEC will run for a test period of three years and ASPEC AIM for two years, with a further limitation to 50 applications per year. 

For further information, please refer to the information on ASPEC on the website of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)

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