By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Application for registration of Intellectual Property (IP) assets filed at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) totaled 22,952 in January to June this year. This translates to an 11 percent climb from the 20,628 applications of trademarks, inventions, utility models, and industrial designs filed in the comparable period last year.
IPOPHL Director-General Josephine R. Santiago attributed the increased filings to the concrete programs and efforts IPOPHL continues to effectively and aggressively implement: IP education and awareness campaigns; capacity-building of Innovation and Technology Support Offices which had actively been filing inventions and utility models; the active involvement of Intellectual Property Satellite Offices (IPSOs); the expansion of the IPSO network with the launching of three more offices in 2018, namely in Dumaguete in May, Zamboanga in August, and Naga in September; and the extension of the Juana program which waives fees for MSMEs.
“These figures reflect the success of our continuing efforts at the IPOPHL. With a widened and deepened understanding of IP, society is now appreciating the IP system more than ever,” Santiago said.
She, however, noted that applications for any IP domain do not demonstrate trends in a certain period within a year. Thus, the IPOPHL looks forward to seeing the year-end figures to assess how it compares with last year’s overall growth. This way, the Office is able to evaluate in a broader approach how certain government strategies and policies affect the local society’s utilization of the IP system, the degree of which is one of the criteria at which innovation and economic progress are pegged.
Trademark applications in the first half reached 18,964, rising 11 percent year-on-year. Resident filers for TMs totaled 10,970, growing 6 percent. Non-resident filers stood at 3, 894, 2 percent up.
For patents, IPOPHL reported a 4 percent growth to 1,991. Filings from residents decreased by 40 percent to 148 while that of non-residents who directed their applications at the IPOPHL increased 6 percent to 186.
IPOPHL reported that filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) grew by 10 percent to 1,657. The PCT is one of the international routes that allows single application for patent protection across multiple jurisdictions, specifically in 152 contracting parties to the Treaty. The PCT provides services such as international search, international publication, national phase, and other optional services such as supplementary international search and preliminary search examination.
Based on origin, United States, Japan, and China topped the list of all patent filings, accounting for 24 percent, 20 percent, and 13 percent respectively. Most filings were in the pharmaceuticals applications, organic fine chemistry, and biotechnology.
A patent is an exclusive right granted for a certain period for an invention applied to a product, process or an improvement of a product or process which is new, inventive, and useful.
Filings in the UM (utility model) segment totaled 1,173 in the first semester of 2019, posting a 31% growth. About 97% of the UMs filed in the first semester of 2019 were from residents, which booked 1,133 filings or a 32% year-on-year hike. Nonresidents’ applications numbered 40, a 21 percent increase.
Most UMs were in the field of food chemistry, handling, and furniture and games. A UM is often referred to as a “minor patent.” Compared to patented inventions, application for UM is inexpensive, faster to obtain, and with less stringent patentability requirements.
Filings for Industrial Designs (ID) totaled 824, a 14 percent rise year-on-year. Some 567 residents filed for ID protection, registering a 44 percent climb. Non-residents’ filing for ID registration stood at 257, a 22 percent decrease from a year ago.
The top three fields for ID filings were in furnishing; packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods; and means of transport or hoisting.
Deposition of copyrights at IPOPHL jumped 53 percent to 990, reflecting a boost of creativity in the country during the period.
On industry basis, IPOPHL said that most of the total filings were in agricultural products and services; pharmaceuticals, health, cosmetics; and scientific research, information and communication technology.