Intellectual property filings in PH up nearly 10% in 2019

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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) received a record-high in annual filings for intellectual property protection totaling 47,282 last year, a nearly 10-percent rise from the 43,300 applications in 2018.

IPOPHL director-general Rowel Barba (Credit: Facebook page of IPOPHL)

In a statement Wednesday, March 25, IPOPHL said filings for trademarks (TM) posted the biggest annual growth at 10 percent to 39,399 from 35,672.

Bulk of the filings were in agricultural products and services, followed by pharmaceuticals, health, cosmetics; scientific research, information and communication technology; management, communications, real estate, and financial services; and textiles — clothing and accessories.

Residents were the biggest TM filers, accounting for 60 percent or 23,447. This was followed by Madrid System non-resident applicants with a share of 8,017 and non-resident direct filings applicants at 7,935.

Industrial design (ID) applications were the second biggest driver, up 7 percent to 1,631 from 1,522. Residents were the most active filers with a 62-percent or 1,019 contribution to the total, while the rest were non-residents.

The top five fields for ID filings in 2019 were in means of transport or hoisting; furnishing; packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods; fluid distribution equipment, sanitary, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, solid fuel; and graphic symbols and logos, surface patterns, ornamentation.

Meanwhile, utility model (UM) filings stood at 2,228, climbing 4 percent from 2,144 in 2018. Of the 2019 total, about 96 percent were residents. The top five biggest filings were in food chemistry; basic materials chemistry; handling; furniture, games; and pharmaceuticals.

Patents posted a 2-percent annual hike, totaling to 4,024 from 3,962. Filings made under the Patent Cooperation Treaty accounted for the lion’s share or 80 percent at 3,223.

Based on the country of origin, the United States, Japan, and China were the top filers. Top industries for patent claims were in pharmaceuticals; organic fine chemistry; biotechnology; digital communication; and food chemistry.

Filings at IPOHL’s satellite offices within and outside Metro Manila grew 17 percent to 4,616 from 3,950. In 2019, two satellites were opened, namely in Butuan City in the Caraga Region and Vigan City in Ilocos, bringing the total IPOPHL offices in operations nationwide to 16.

At Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs), which are housed in universities and colleges to deliver basic IPOPHL services, filings grew 13.96 percent to 1,624. This was driven by the 235 patents and 1,075 UMs which saw an annual increase of 22 percent and 16 percent, respectively. ITSOs, currently at 100, are significant enablers to inventors and innovators as they provide patent search and drafting services.

Another effort that supported growth is IPOPHL’s completion in 2019 of eight Patent Landscape Reports (PLRs) and presentation of 34 other PLRs to industry stakeholders. PLRs outlines the technological trends and competition in a particular field of technology to help assist local industries and research and development institutions in their commercial decisions.

As for Copyright deposits, this totaled 1,862, slightly edging down by 7.55 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, IPOPHL director-general Rowel Barba said the agency is still weighing how the Covid-19 outbreak will influence filing activities in the Philippines, as it closely monitors experiences in other countries.

Barba said they hope to get a fuller view of its impact in the middle of the year.

“Amid the uncertainty, intensified work to raise IP awareness is needed more than ever. Our presence should be truly felt albeit virtually during the enhanced community quarantine period. The current crisis pressures IPOPHL to encourage innovation and creativity to prosper with the goal of creating much-needed solutions in these trying times,” he added. — PNA

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