At the IPWeek event in Singapore this week there were several patent and technology announcements. Nine of the ten SE Asian IP offices launched a new pilot initiative to speed up patent applications for “key emerging technologies” including fintech, cybersecurity and robotics. The program called ASPEC Acceleration for Industry 4.0 Infrastructure and Manufacturing (ASPEC-AIM) will run for 2 years and allow for faster track patenting in these new tech sectors.

The existing ASPEC patent prosecution highway will also be expanded under a new program called the PCT-ASPEC. This will enable use of PCT reports from another ASEAN International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) to accelerate their patent applications elsewhere in another ASEAN country. The ASPEC system has been moderately successful but update has not been as significant as hoped, despite business demand for faster patenting in the region. This widens the document scope to add other reports which can be submitted to ASEAN patent offices in support of expedited examination.

IPOS also announced that Alibaba Group was granted an artificial patent on only 3 monthsthree months. IPOS’s runs an Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence patents.

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