IPOPHL eyes 75% hike in innovation-driven filings

Published October 17, 2020, 5:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

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

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

IPOPHL first 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 significantly in annual resident IP filings, especially in patents and utility models (UM). UM filings 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, ITSO-partners 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 filings 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 high-technology delivering institutions keen on riding the waves of technological development, and advancing their position with protected IP assets.

With the anticipation of more filings, 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 filings.

“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.