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ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation

ASPEC, or ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation, is a regional programme enabling ASEAN member-countries (with the exception of Myanmar) to make use of the examination and search results (S&E) obtained from another ASEAN member-state. Countries participating in the programme include: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

ASPEC request should be filed together with examination and search report for a corresponding patent application at the second IP office. Besides, there must be claims correspondence between the applications, confirmed by filing the claims correspondence table (except for Philippines, where the table is optional). An application is considered to be corresponding, if it:

1. claims priority of the patent application in the first patent office under Paris Convention, or vice-versa;

2. shares the same priority from another Paris Convention or WTO member-country with the patent application in the first patent office;

3. is the national phase entry application from the same PCT application as the application in the first patent office.

The second patent office is not obliged to adopt conclusions made by the first patent office but will use the information as a reference for its own S&E in accordance with the national IP laws. The working language of the ASPEC is English, so no translation into the official languages of the ASEAN member-states is necessary.