PH local invention patent filings surpass 100

The country’s innovation program appears to be gaining ground as the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) reported recently that patent applications for local inventions have reached a total of 107.

IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor (right) in a meeting with University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) president Perfecto Alibin last October in Davao City. Photo credit: USeP website

IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor (right) in a meeting with University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) president Perfecto Alibin last October in Davao City. Photo credit: USeP website

Higher education institutions (HEIs) have taken the lead in patent applications through the Patent Protection Incentive Package (PPIP), a project conceived and implemented by the IPOPHL. The launch of the PIPP prompted an almost 200-percent spike in local filings, the IPOPHL said.

The patent applications were filed by various HEIs across the country which are members of the Philippine network of Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO). The ITSO is one of the flagship programs of IPOPHL that allows HEIs, research and development institutions, and private industries to host their patent libraries.

Each patent library — manned and operated by the institution’s personnel — is encouraged propagate the IP (intellectual property) culture in the regions and capitalize on this as a tool for accelerating national economic growth and development.

The PPIP, launched in March 2012, provides incentives to ITSO members. IPOPHL waives 100 percent of the fees charged for each invention patent filed.

The incentive defrays fees up to the 15 years, should the application be granted patent protection. The PPIP project, however, will expire by December 31, 2015.

Before the implementation of the PPIP, between 2007 and 2011 or about four years, the patent applications from Philippine universities numbered only 43. When PPIP was introduced, the local applications almost tripled to 107 in a span of over two years between 2012 and 2014.

The University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) in Davao City led the pack of local patent filers. The school filed 34 patent applications through the PPIP as of November 2014. USeP was followed by the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City with 15 filings.

Adamson University in Manila had filed 8 patent applications, while Bicol University and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) filed 6 and 5 patent applications, respectively.

Aside from being the top PPIP filer, USC is also the first of ITSOs that had successful technology commercialization for its mango peelings technology invention.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Global Innovation Index (GII), which annually assesses each country’s national innovation output, shows that the Philippines has slid to 100th place (based on 2013 output data), a 10-notch plunge from the 2013 GII report, which ranked the Philippines at 90th based on 2012 output data.

The 2014 GII report showed that the Philippines is only ahead of Cambodia (106th) and Myanmar (140th) in Southeast Asia. Vietnam even outranked the Philippines in the GII innovation index by placing 71st.

The IPOPHL, however, is bullish about the prospect of stabilizing the global position of the Philippines in innovation ranking by next year, if the latest patent application performance of local universities, abetted by PPIP, should serve as an indicator.

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