Lawmakers are pushing for the passage of a bill that seeks to fill the gaps in the Intellectual Property (IP) Code and ensure that scientists, inventors, artists, and other gifted citizens are encouraged to continue with their pursuits in creativity and innovation.
AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin and Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia said their House Bill 8062, or the New Intellectual Property Act is designed to ensure a balance between the interests of both the owners/holders and users of the products.
The authors of the bill said innovation and creativity are important factors and drivers of economic growth.
They said protecting the IP rights helps to ensure that individuals who innovate and use their creativity and skills are properly rewarded and their rights over their creations are protected.
The bill increases the capacity of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to provide assistance to stakeholders, the general public, and specific sectors like academe, the industries, and micro, small and medium enterprises.
It also highlights the streamlining of administrative procedures related to IP rights and liberalizing the registration on the transfer of technology.
According to Garin, these will enhance the enforcement of IP rights in the Philippines and promote the use of relevant, emerging, advanced, and state-of-the-art technologies in providing a more efficient and higher quality service to the stakeholders and the public.
Upon the enactment of the bill, provisional patent applications shall be allowed to encourage Philippine inventors to file applications while the invention has yet to be perfected.
The bill is also set to promote the adoption of IP policies in schools, universities, research and development institutions, and public entities to nurture a culture of creativity and innovation.
In line with the country’s gradual shift to a digital platform, the bill mandates the creation of the Sub-Committee on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Environment, which shall be in charge of issuing orders that will restrict, limit, reduce, or disable the capability of online platforms and the persons operating them to engage in infringing activities, including, but not limited to such measures as taking or shutting down or permanent closure of web sites or online platforms, removing allegedly infringing materials, or blocking access thereto including payment gateways.
The bill is pending with the House Committee on Trade and Industry since November 2020.