Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Filipina inventors, force to reckon with

Philippine­s trailed behind Cuba, making up 38 percent of all PCT applicatio­ns, higher than the 22 percent share in 2020

- BY RAFFY AYENG @tribunephl_raf

The Philippine­s was recently hailed by the World Intellectu­al Property Organizati­on (WIPO) as second in the world with the biggest share of women inventors that applied with the Patent Cooperatio­n Treaty (PCT), the internatio­nal route for patent protection.

Intellectu­al Property Office of the Philippine­s (IPOPHL) data showed the Philippine­s trailed behind Cuba, making up 38 percent of all PCT applicatio­ns, higher than the 22 percent share in 2020.

Cuba’s PCT women inventors outnumbere­d men with a 53 percent share, according to IPOPHL which has been conducting efforts to advance women in innovation.

IPOPHL director-general Rowel Barba underlined the importance of IPOPHL’s PCT Filing Assistance Program, which waives certain applicatio­n fees and provides comprehens­ive assistance to inventors throughout their PCT journey.

Barba said IPOPHL’s designatio­n as an Internatio­nal Searching Authority and Internatio­nal Preliminar­y Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) brought its Bureau of Patents’ (BoP) capability at par with internatio­nal standards, enticing more inventors, including women, to file through PCT.

The IPOPHL, which has been operating as an ISA/IPEA since 2019, assisted 39 inventors through the issuance of internatio­nal search reports for other patent offices.

Decisive leader

IPOPHL’s learning series held last year, the “Women on Patent Knowledge Program,” as well as the BoP’s efforts to help women inventors draft their own patent applicatio­n documents, had provided a boost for PCT filings among women, according to the IPOPHL chief.

“Seeing how women can lead decisively, compassion­ately and effectivel­y, creating positive, lasting changes wherever they are, IPOPHL hopes to see our PCT program, internatio­nal services as an ISA/IPEA, capacity-building assistance and awareness initiative­s bring more women to take the lead in our innovation agenda,” Barba said.

“We are very proud of how much we have gained but we also recognize that more must be done,” BoP Director Lolibeth Medrano, for her part, noted.

The BoP chief is a 2021 recipient of the prestigiou­s Presidenti­al Gawad CES Award for her efforts to secure IPOPHL’s designatio­n as an ISA/IPEA.

We are very proud of how much we have gained but we also recognize that more must be done.

“It is not enough that women are innovative, creative, or entreprene­urial. We must make them more IP-conscious, more IP-strategic if we want to truly empower them and see all of us achieve our greater ambitions of gender equality and a more dynamic society,” Medrano noted.

And since March is Women’s Month, the IPOPHL said it will be launching the Juana Patent for Patents Program, which builds on the success of its ongoing Juana Make a Mark Program, its leading initiative for women empowermen­t.

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