IPOPHL, PCCI expand commitments to empower more businesses thru IP

Published June 1, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) signed on Monday a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest business group in the country, to renew and expand their commitments in enabling more businesses to protect their intellectual property (IP) rights and optimize them to rebound stronger from the pandemic.

IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba, PCCI President Benedicto V. Yujuico and PCCI Director Alfredo M. Yao signed the MOA at the PCCI Innovation Center to symbolize the partnership’s importance in advancing innovation in the country. 

Top officials of IPOPHL and PCCI signed and witnessed the MOA on May 31, 2021 at the PCCI Innovation Center in Pasay City, marking the start of a public-private partnership seen as game-changing in furthering IP for businesses.

Under the partnership, IPOPHL committed to train PCCI members to build their capacity in providing IP-related assistance, with PCCI exploring prospects of developing a permanent IP-related service to its members.

IPOPHL will also be promoting eligible IP assets from the PCCI community by featuring them on the IP Depot, the Office’s online marketing platform for MSMEs’ IP products and services. It will also extend assistance for PCCI members to succeed in commercialization once such opportunities arise as a result of IP Depot’s marketing support. 

IPOPHL will also partner with the PCCI for the continuation of their joint annual Alfredo M. Yao Awards which recognizes outstanding Filipino inventors and creators for their IPs. Shortlisted entries to the awards will also be given access to IPOPHL’s commercial patent search service for free. 

For its part, the PCCI will help promote IPOPHL programs that incentivize MSMEs to protect their IPs, and assist in business-members’ filings under international systems, namely the Patent Cooperation Treaty for patents and Madrid Protocol for trademarks.

Both commited to deliver other forms of support, such as providing venue, mentorship and IP business advice for joint technology and innovation-related activities; showcasing incubated technologies in relevant events; and drawing in participants to engage in the other’s campaigns, programs and activities where relevant to their respective stakeholders.

IPOPHL’s Barba said the agency is “truly overjoyed” by the expanded mutual goals “as this is indicative of how much the business community values IP in industries, the economy and in overall nation-building.”

“For IPOPHL we always dream of more IP filings and the further protection of creativity and innovation for the future of the Filipino people. Just like the Innovation Center, I know this dream of ours, where IP services will be offered by the PCCI to its members, will also be fulfilled with this partnership,” Barba added. 

Yujuico affirmed this, saying he sees this partnership to generate more resident IPs as helping fulfill the “Ambisyon Natin 2040,” the national long-term vision to provide every Filipino a “strongly rooted, comfortable and secure life” by 2040.

A witness to the event, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the involvement of PCCI is “very important” given “the potential contribution of industries and enterprises in generating IPs” and in successfully implementing the Filipinnovation, the national strategic framework aimed at growing innovative and globally competitive Philippine industries.

For his part, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, whose message was delivered by Barba, emphasized how value creation through IP can help create resilient businesses, in turn helping the economy generate stable jobs, incomes and investments. “[Resilience] is exactly what Filipino businesses must start looking into through the lens of IP. And I’m glad that this is the path that IPOPHL and the PCCI will be taking together to lead Filipino businesses and all of us to recovery,” Lopez added.