The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) will inaugurate its satellite office in Zamboanga on August 4 — its fourth office in Mindanao — in a bid to expand its presence and reach out to more businesses and individuals in the region that are keen to register their intellectual property.
The steady expansion of Intellectual Property Satellite Offices (IPSOs) continues with the inauguration of IPSO Zamboanga, the13th IPSO in the country.
“In past years, we’ve seen micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), increasingly becoming responsive to our call to protect their trademarks, and gain a competitive edge in business. Gradually, they’ve been recognizing the significance and value trademark brings them in the cutthroat environment in the marketplace,” said IPOPHL director-general Josephine R. Santiago.
“This growing awareness explains the multi-year growth in intellectual property filings from satellite offices. IPSO filings have been on a growth path since 2013. With our continued expansion in the farthest areas of the Philippines, we expect this trajectory to remain on an uptrend,” she added.
According to data from the Intellectual Property Field Operations Unit of IPOPHL, from 2013 to 2017, IPOPHL saw an average annual growth of 14% in IP filings outside of Metro Manila.
In the same period, trademark applications have consistently taken up bulk of the filings. In 2017, it took up 60% of all IP filings from the 11 satellite offices, boosted by IPOPHL’s “Juana Make a Mark” program.
In Mindanao IPSOs (Cagayan De Oro, General Santos, and Davao), the top three classes of goods applied for by MSMEs are:
1. Local pastries, delicacies, coffee, tea, sugar etc. (Class 30)
2. Local food outlets, kiosks selling (Class 35)
3. Processed food from fruits and vegetables indigenous to the areas (Class 29)
The “Juana Make a Mark” program is a trademark registration incentive program that allows the first 1000 eligible MSMEs to apply to have their trademarks registered at a reduced cost.
With the renewal of this program, trademarks are expected to lead the growth of IP filings, and more MSMEs, especially in newly opened satellite offices may benefit from the incentive program.
This is also in line with IPOPHL’s championing of the “first-mover filing” mindset among MSMEs — that is, to file for trademark registration prior to establishing a business to ensure availability of and secure exclusivity over the mark before the enterprise incurs expenses related to promoting its goods or services such as for packaging and marketing.
To recall, IPOPHL expanded its footprint in Visayas just last June, opening the Dumaguete IPSO with seven trademarks under IPOPHL’s “Juana Make a Mark” incentive program issued to Dumaguete MSMEs during the ceremony.
Additionally, three trademarks and three utility models were filed on-site.
The establishment of the satellite office in Zamboanga will cater to the stakeholders, specifically MSMEs in Zamboanga peninsula ( Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay), Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu as well as neighboring areas from the ARMM.