THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) recently announced its aim to engage in the global intellectual property (IP) community to grow intellectual property (IP) filings by up to 10 percent this year.
“Hopefully this year, the growth rate in terms of filings, we’re targeting at 10 percent. Actually we’re already happy with the 5-percent growth again this year from 48,000,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said during a news briefing last week.
The IPOPHL chief noted that the agency is setting an “internal” target of 10 percent despite generating the “usual” 4-percent to 5-percent growth in filings per year.
Last year, the IPOPHL registered a new record high with 48,259 IP filings, a 2-percent increase from the previous record-high of 47,328 IP filings in 2019. The amount of IP filings in 2022 is 4-percent higher than the 46,558 IP filings recorded in 2021.
For this year, Barba said the IPOPHL is seeing an improvement in the IP filings compared to the volume booked in 2020 or at the start of the pandemic, when he said filings took a dive by 20 percent.
“The pandemic is still here but hopefully, we’re seeing… improving na naman ‘yung filings natin and we will expert more efforts, more programs to increase our filings in the Philippines,” Barba said.
THE IPOPHL chief said a way to increase the amount of IP filings in the Philippines includes joining the foreign missions undertaken by the Board of Investments (BOI).
“Starting this year, we plan to join the missions of the BOI because IP is related to possible investments in the Philippines,” Barba said.
He cited that those who want to invest in the Philippines can file for IP “so they can protect their trademarks, their patents.”
They are also targeting foreign investors “who want to market their products in the Philippines.”
According to the IPOPHL chief, if the agency will be given the opportunity to join these foreign missions, it aims to discuss the IP system in the Philippines and to assure these investors that the country has a “robust and transparent” IP system.
APART from joining missions or engaging in the global IP community, Barba said the IPOPHL will focus on improving its IT infrastructure to ensure the “consistent availability of our online services and smooth transactions.”
Moreover, the agency noted it aims to bring IP to more areas to ensure “regional inclusive growth.”
Generally, amid a “cautiously optimistic” outlook for this year, the IPOPHL chief said that while some businesses may “tighten the belt” on spending, he remained hopeful that it does not come at the cost of “failing to sufficiently protect their high-value IP assets.”
Highlighting the long-term benefit of protecting intellectual property, Barba said those who bring IP to the center of their strategies “could have greater chances of survival as valuable IP assets can elevate companies to greater heights of innovation, creativity and brand identity—all critical determining factors in a company’s long-term growth and competitiveness.”
Further, Barba said the society can also benefit from strengthening IP protection.
“With the incentive of the IP system, we may even benefit as the returns they generate from their IP assets may not only help them weather the looming economic downturn but also create lasting effects that change society for the better,” the IPOPHL chief said.