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Phl’s innovation-related IP filings increase in H12023

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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) saw registrations for innovation-focused types of intellectual property (IP) expand in the first half of the year as public and private support dedicated to foster innovation begins to bear fruit.  

Preliminary data from IPOPHL show that patent and industrial design (ID) filings grew year-on-year almost every month during the January to June period while utility models (UM) have seen consistent growth every month.

“Patent activities could be positioned to reach a new record-high while UM and ID applications move toward an impressive rebound. From this, we could sense that 2023 is skewing towards a year of innovation,” Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

He noted that government has been putting in place a host of policies to streamline government processes, harmonize resources and support strategic innovation investments, such as through the passage of the Innovative Startup Act,  Philippine Innovation Act, Ease of Doing Business Act, Foreign Investments Act and CREATE Law.

According to the 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), Manila alone has grown its startup ecosystem to $3.5 billion, rising 85% from the $2.1 billion reported in the 2022 GSER.

Patents

Applications for patent registration increased by 9% to 2,134, from 1,958. Non-residents, with 1,916 applications, accounted for 90% while residents filed for 218, accounting for 10%. 

Most patent applications skewed to pharmaceuticals (24.47%); organic fine chemistry (10.58%); and digital communications (7.89%).

Utility Models

Filings for UM – a patent-like IP right to protect innovations – signified a rebound from its lows in the pandemic as filings in the first half grew 27.7% to 835 from 654. 

A total of 802 applications or 96% derived from residents while 33 or 4% were from non-residents.

Top UMs filed were in fields of food chemistry (55.6%); basic material chemistry (8.9%); and Pharmaceuticals (5.6%). 

Industrial Design

Applications for ID – used to protect the three or two-dimensional aesthetic features of a product — expanded by 17.6% to 635 applications from 540. Activities were driven by residents with a 337 or 53.1% share in filings. Non-resident ID filings took up 298 or 46.9%.

Top industries for ID applications were in means of transport or hoisting (15.4%); furnishing (11.1%); and packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods (10.8%).

Copyright

Meanwhile, copyright registrations totaled 2,833, climbing by 64.5% from 1,722.

Barba also highlighted a surge in awareness of copyright protection as registrations landed 70% closer towards IPOPHL’s 2023 goal of 4,000 registrations – a 7.9% increase from 3,706 achieved in 2022.

Copyright registrations for the period were mainly driven by books, pamphlets, articles, e-books, audio books, comics, novels and other writings (60.4%); followed by computer programs, software, games and apps (10.6%); and musical compositions (8.8%).

Trademarks

Filings for trademarks slipped by 8% year-on-year to 18,599 from 20,342 applications. 

The share of non-resident filers and resident fillers stood at 6,393 or a share of 34.4% and 12,206 or 65.6%, respectively.  

Bulk of trademark filings were in pharmaceutical, health and cosmetic products (with a 18.7% share), followed by agricultural products and services (17.9%) and scientific research, information and communication technology (13.5%). 

IPOPHL said the lower trademark filings, an indicator for new products and services, reflects the economy’s slower movement this period. 

GDP grew 4.3% in the second quarter of 2023, shrinking from the 7.5% in the same quarter last year and marking decelerated growth for three straight quarters. The National Economic Development Authority attributed the weaker growth to high commodity prices, lagged effects of interest rate hikes, lower government spending and slower global demand.

“Historically, trademark filing activities have been more active in the second semester so we continue to monitor the trend to see if a reversal is still possible,” Barba added. 

Outlook 

“For the rest of 2023, IPOPHL will continue to vigorously promote IP protection more than ever. Tempered business activities should not translate to decreased IP protection in the equation. We thus reiterate the long-term opportunities of a strongly protected IP and remind the business community of the often irreversible consequences they face when they fail to protect their prized IP assets,” Deputy Director General Ann Claire C. Cabochan said.

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