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IPOPHL makes PH sole developing country in top 10 of global IP office ranking

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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) jumps to 9th place in the World Trademark Review’s (WTR) 2021 IP (intellectual property) Office Innovation Ranking from 24th in the previous year, making the Philippines the only developing country to have an IP office in the top 10 out of 60 offices ranked worldwide. 

IPOPHL made what the WTR dubbed “an impressive rise,” which also put it ahead of the IP offices of Japan and the USA. The office enjoys its current spot along with Spain and Switzerland. 

“The good news delivered by the WTR report demonstrates IPOPHL’s adoption of innovations to cope with the pandemic and ensure we can continue to serve the public,” said IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba. 

At the start of the local community quarantine, IPOPHL fast-tracked putting in place the tools and protocols to allow services online, such as end-to-end registration, mediation, filing of IP violation complaints and other office actions. 

IPOPHL also launched its Business Intelligence v2.0 online platform, which incorporates cutting-edge machine learning / artificial intelligence to improve its big data analytics capabilities.

Aside from its thrust towards digitalization, IPOPHL has also been assisting MSMEs, with the launch of its Juan for the World trademark incentive package and the renewal of the Juana Make a Mark and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Filing Assistance Program last year. 

IPOPHL has also been recognized by the World Intellectual Property Organization for its performance as one of only 24 International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) in the world. In the WIPO 2021 PCT Yearly Review, IPOPHL, alongside a few ISA/IPEAs with a 100% score, topped the completion of international search reports and the timeliness of transmittal categories.

With increased digitalization, improved services and a wider reach of IP awareness and education campaigns online, IP filings in the first half of 2021 posted a 20% year-on-year growth.

“Our jump in the WTR ranking is the latest to show IPOPHL’s unwavering commitment to serve the public. Yet we aim to reach higher and help local and foreign stakeholders conveniently and strategically utilize their IP assets as essential tools in business recovery and resilience,” Barba said. 

The IP Office Innovation Ranking is an annual project by the WTR, an independent news and information service for trademark professionals worldwide. It surveys how IP offices that offer trademark services are transforming from simple administrative agencies into more technologically advanced organizations. It also takes into account offices’ value-add offerings to help fill the gaps of IP utilization in their jurisdictions.

The report grades IP offices based on: Online Capabilities; Value-Added Propositions; and Public Outreach Efforts. 

Under Online Capabilities, the Philippines ranked 11th together with Austria, BENELUX (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) and Japan. IPOPHL’s digital capabilities, particularly website functionality and accessibility, trademark e-filing rating and use of AI functionality, were cited.

In terms of Value-Added Propositions, the Philippines and ten other countries ranked second just behind Singapore. Pushing the country’s ranking were its offering of trademark dispute mediation, IP legal advice for SMEs and liaising with enforcement agencies.

Under Public Outreach Efforts, the Philippines ranked 23rd together with Australia, Canada, Sweden and Turkey. Efforts noted include IPOPHL’s conduct of public trademark events; utilization of social media; attendance to non-IP events; and collaboration with other IP offices.  

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