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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has renewed its commitment to encourage the youth to create more intellectual property (IP) assets and reject supporting IP infringing practices.  

“With the youth as the biggest users of the internet and adopters of technology, we believe they are best positioned to take up the challenge of leading the Philippines into  a bright digital future,” Director General Rowel S. Barba said at the 2nd Grand IP Forum held April 22, 2022, with the theme “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.”  

However, he also warned of how “our youth can also be vulnerable to corruptible practices online.” 

In a survey IPOPHL jointly conducted with the World Intellectual Property Organization  (WIPO) in 2021, it was found that out of five age groups, it was the youngest that supported pirated digital content the most even as this group had the smallest sample size.  

Out of 1,000 respondents, 28% of those who downloaded free movies, 14% of those who read free ebooks and 35% of those who downloaded free music came from the youngest group segment ages 18 to 19. 

According to the survey, some young respondents cited the ease in accessing free content compared to buying in official stores, and that their peers do it anyway. 

“Given these findings, the work to create an IP-conscious and respectful generation must be at the top of our country’s agenda. We need to take active measures to help them understand the importance of IP as young as they are,” Barba said.  

The IPOPHL chief noted that its work to develop and implement a rolling site-blocking regime soon will help disrupt accessibility to piracy sites and help keep the youth safer. 

Helping the youth drive IP creation 

IPOPHL also commits to make a greater impact under its Young IP Advocates (YIPA)  Program which aims to cultivate respect for IP rights among the youth while also helping them create and protect their own high-value IP assets.  

Now with 14 clubs established across 47 YIPA-member schools, IPOPHL is aiming to create an IP policy framework to help IP clubs further align with IPOPHL’s national goal.  

“IPOPHL will soon be creating IP policy guidelines for our growing network of IP clubs to ensure that their awareness campaign is effective and is sustained in the long term,”  Barba said. 

“In the near future, we hope these IP policy guidelines will also carry standards that will increase IP filings among YIPA members and create more IP rights holders as young as high school students,” the IPOPHL chief added.  

The IPOPHL chief went on to encourage the youth to combine IP with their key advantages and harness these for more meaningful pursuits.  

“With IP, your ingenuity and tech-savvy skills at your fingertips, IPOPHL sees a brighter future for the Philippines as you, our young changemakers, lead the way in innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship,” Barba told the young audience.  

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, who is keynote speaker to the Forum, echoed Barba’s call. 

“As the youth of our country, you have a critical role in allowing your creative energy and fresh perspective to drive innovation toward nation-building,” Lopez said. 

At the Forum, seven young innovators and entrepreneurs showcased their very own IP  innovations and the inspiring stories and ambitions that propelled their successes. 

They were namely Maria Yzabel Angel Palma for the Airdisc; Cha Rev Amour Cruz for the  Guava Cider Vinegar; Yzhae Marione Capuno Villaruel for the Multi SAVER Cane; Mark  Kennedy Bantugon for the Pili Seal; Near Blessing Olpindo for co-inventing the GT  

Fabric(co-inventor); Carmina Bayombong for putting up InvestEd; and Harley Dave Beltran for founding Harl’s Leather Handicrafts. 

The Forum also set down discussions on “Government and Private Initiatives in Support of Youth Empowerment through IP.” 

Participants in the discussion were officials and representatives from WIPO; DTI’s Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (DTI-BSMED); Department of  Science and Technology’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI);  Design Center of the Philippines (DCP); Philippine Science High School System (PSHS);  Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI); Toktok Mall Philippines; and Devtac Designs.  

The Grand IP Forum is an annual event held by IPOPHL to gather stakeholders and discuss how best to spur innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship through IP. It forms part of the National IP Month celebrated every April, by virtue of Presidential  Proclamation No. 190, to raise appreciation for the benefits patents, copyright and related rights, trademarks and designs bring to societies and nations across the globe. 

The Grand IP Forum is also an advance celebration of World IP Day held annually on April 26. The Forum aligns with WIPO’s chosen theme for the celebration: “IP and Youth:  Innovating for a Better Future IP.” 

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