The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is extending its trademark registration assistance program catering to women, ?Juana Make A Mark?, for another year, allowing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to register their trademarks for free nationwide.
?We are extending this assistance program until February 2019 to get more women-led MSMEs into the fold of protecting their trademarks. Following the success of the first round of the program, we saw the need to reach more women MSMEs in far-flung areas of the country that we have yet to tap,? said IPOPHL director-general Josephine Santiago during the Intellectual Property Convergence 2018.
The program extension is timely as the Philippines recently celebrated the World Intellectual Property Day last April 26, which this year has the theme, ?Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity.?
The World Intellectual Property Day also falls during the country?s celebration of National Intellectual Property Month, which is April pursuant to Proclamation No. 190.
?Juana Make a Mark? program waives the payment of basic filing fees, fees for claim of color and publication fee for women-led MSMEs that meet certain conditions.
To be a beneficiary, the enterprise must pass a set of eligibility criteria, which includes, having business activities included in the DTI?s or IPOPHL?s list of priority sectors, or is a business situated in areas which are prone to natural disasters or facing social and/or economic challenges, among others.
IPOPHL launched the program in 2017, and has set a target of 1000 trademarks to be registered under the program for free for a period of one year. The extension will be until 2019 or until the additional 1000 registrations are met, whichever comes first.
Apart from empowering women entrepreneurs, the program is aimed at encouraging MSMEs to use trademark as a business tool to improve competitiveness.
Trademarks are important marketing tools that MSMEs can use to establish itself to consumers, as the source of a particular good or service.