Manila Bulletin

IPOPHL eyes 75% hike in in­no­va­tion­driven lings

- By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT Business · Patents · Copyright · Law · Philippines · Asia · University of Miami · University of Maryland

The In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Of­fice of the Philip­pines (IPOPHL) tar­gets a 75 per­cent in­crease in In­no­va­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Sup­port Of­fice (ITSO)-driven IP lings by 2025.

IPOPHL Direc­tor Gen­eral Rowel S. Barba said this as he shared with peers in the Asia-Paci c Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) dur­ing a re­cent vir­tual meet­ing its ex­pe­ri­ence in fos­ter­ing univer­sity in­no­va­tions to en­ter the global patents sys­tem, tout­ing as ag­ship ini­tia­tives its pro­gram with the aca­demic com­mu­nity and IPOPHL’s op­er­a­tion as an in­ter­na­tional author­ity un­der the Patent Co­op­er­a­tion Treaty (PCT).

IPOPHL rst noted the suc­cess of its Pro­gram in main­stream­ing IP in the cre­ative and in­no­va­tive land­scapes of higher ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions (HEIs).

“The ITSO Pro­gram has brought about a change in the cul­ture of academe char­ac­ter­ized by greater aware­ness on the im­por­tance of IP pro­tec­tion,” said Barba.

Housed in HEIs and R&D cen­ters, IPOPHL-steered ITSOs pro­vide a wide range of ca­pac­ity build­ing ini­tia­tives; sub­si­dize mem­bers’ sub­scrip­tion to pro­pri­etary data­bases; and waive se­lect patents fees and an­nu­ities on the con­di­tion that a mem­ber ap­plies through the global PCT track.

The ITSO net­work is cur­rently at 100. Over the years, ITSOs have en­abled part­ner-schools to con­trib­ute signi cantly in an­nual res­i­dent IP fil­ings, es­pe­cially in patents and util­ity mod­els (UM). UM

lings was cited as one of the ma­jor drivers for the Philip­pines to climb four spots to 50th in the Global In­no­va­tion In­dex 2020.

IPOPHL data showed that in 2019, ITSOs ac­counted for 54 per­cent of to­tal res­i­dent fil­ings for patents, grow­ing from a 41 per­cent share in the pre­vi­ous year. On util­ity model (UM) ap­pli­ca­tions, ITSO­part­ners con­trib­uted 50 per­cent last year grow­ing from 45 per­cent in 2018.

To sus­tain their con­tri­bu­tion, IPOPHL is reach­ing for the stars as we tar­get for a 75 per­cent in­crease in res­i­dent lings of ITSOs by 2025, to 2,842 from 1,624 in 2019. This is achiev­able with IPOPHL’s in­tent to be ag­gres­sive in scal­ing up ITSOs' IP ca­pac­i­ties.

At present, IPOPHL has 100 ITSO-part­ners, from only 84 in 2019, and con­tin­ues to wel­come into this grow­ing net­work high­tech­nol­ogy de­liv­er­ing in­sti­tu­tions keen on rid­ing the waves of tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, and ad­vanc­ing their po­si­tion with pro­tected IP as­sets.

With the an­tic­i­pa­tion of more lings, IPOPHL said it will put heav­ier fo­cus on the more chal­leng­ing but im­por­tant task of push­ing univer­si­ties' and col­leges' pres­ence into global fron­tiers through the PCT.

The PCT is a cost-ef­fec­tive sys­tem that fa­cil­i­tates ap­pli­ca­tions for patent pro­tec­tion in se­lect or all the 152 PCT-con­tract­ing economies through sin­gle fil­ing in­stead of mul­ti­ple, sep­a­rate lings.

"In­ten­si­fy­ing pro­mo­tion of univer­si­ties' and col­leges' use of and ac­cess to the PCT will di­ver­sify Philip­pines' tech of­fer­ings in for­eign mar­kets. For in­no­va­tors, the PCT will al­low them to tap vaster op­por­tu­ni­ties and hone their global com­pet­i­tive­ness," Barba said.

Key to achiev­ing this push, Barba said, is en­hanc­ing IPOPHL’s com­pe­tence as an In­ter­na­tional Search­ing Author­ity and In­ter­na­tional Pre­lim­i­nary Ex­am­in­ing Author­ity, a des­ig­na­tion it was given in Oc­to­ber 2017.

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