The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) opened a help desk in Naga, Camarines Sur last April to boost intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement in the component city that has topped the Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index (CMCI).
IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said the Help Desk brings IPOPHL’s customer support services closer to the province to help more of its innovative and creative people to learn about and take advantage of IPOPHL’s services and programs.
“As one pushing for innovation and creativity, IPOPHL would like to see Naga City thrive by transforming its people’s ideas into reality. We want them competing in competitive markets and making waves of positive change in their innovative and entrepreneurial pursuits,” Barba said at the April launching ceremony graced by Naga Mayor Nelson S. Legacion, Department of Trade and Industry Camarines Sur Director Jay Percival S. Ablan, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Bicol Regional Director Dr. Rommel Serrano, DOST Camarines Sur Provincial Director Pat Felizmenio and various heads and representatives of schools and research institutions.
As Naga also enjoys the top spot in the Innovation Pillar under the component city category of the CMCI, Barba also invited Nagueños to use the Help Desk and join IPOPHL’s Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO Program), through which the Office capacitates universities, colleges and research institutions to make full use of the IP system. The primary capabilities unlocked include using patent search and patent landscape reports to find innovation gaps in various industries, drafting a patent application and promoting IP protection and awareness in their communities.
Barba also said the launch of the help desk could support the burgeoning startup community in Naga City, which was cited in the 2023 Philippine Venture Capital Report by Foxmont Capital Partners. Specifically, Nueca CEO & Founder Magno Conag III, among the four startup founders featured under the report, highlighted the growth of startup communities outside Metro Manila where Naga City and its flourishing startup ecosystem are recognized.
Barba added that Naga as a whole can benefit optimally from incentivizing IP-protected products that address problems in the city.
“Through the admirable governance mechanism under the Naga City People Council, IP can be of good use making sure that we don’t just create and create technologies but that what your innovators create is useful to your communities. Producing climate change resilience technologies, for example, is something your city could incentivize,” he added.
The launch at Naga marks the 15th Help Desk IPOPHL has opened. The expansion of Help Desks stems from IPOPHL’s broader mission to boost its presence in the provincial level starting with basic informational and support services.
Currently, the other Help Desks are located in Balanga, Bataan; Malolos, Bulacan; San Fernando, La Union; Bacolod, Negros Occidental; Moalboal, Cebu; Bogo, Cebu; Dumaguete, Negros Oriental; Iligan, Lanao del Norte; Antipolo, Rizal; Ilagan, Isabela; Trece Martires, Cavite; Tagbilaran, Bohol; Nabunturan, Davao De Oro; and Naga, Camarines Sur.