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IPOPHL records 2.5% growth in IP filings for 2023, cites sustained awareness

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Overall intellectual property (IP) filings in 2023 at the IP Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) rose by 2.5% year-on-year, driven by increased awareness of IP and more innovations churning out of colleges and universities.

Applications of trademarks, patents, utility models (UM) and industrial designs (ID) from January to December last year totaled 49,832 from 48,600 in 2022.

IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba attributed the climb in filings to the office’s aggressive IP awareness and capacity-building activities and heightened drive at universities and colleges to create and protect their IPs.  

According to Barba, IPOPHL conducted nearly 500 seminars and activities on IP in 2023, capacitating more than 30,000 individuals nationwide. 

“We are ecstatic that our activities for building up IP management and protection capacities and intensifying awareness continue to gather more people. And as we have seen how IP  topics in the past year spread far and wide in the public discourse and the online sphere, the importance of creating an IP-conscious Philippines through education and awareness programs cannot be stressed enough,” Barba said. 

The IPOPHL chief added that the improved Innovation and Technology Support Program — which capacitates state universities and colleges (SUCs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) to readily extend patent service support to researchers, inventors and innovators in their campuses — has helped boost IP applications. Filings from the Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs) totaled 1,922 in 2023, a remarkable 51% increase from 2022. 

Barba hopes to sustain the momentum in IP applications this year on the back of IPOPHL’s continuous expansion of awareness activities, engagement with more ITSOs and its aggressive efforts in the past few years to set up more IP Satellite Offices (IPSO) and Help Desks in strategic areas outside Metro Manila. 

IPSOs provide accessible IP services in the countryside while Help Desks act as extended arms of IPSOs with a more targeted audience. From 2020 to 2023, IPOPHL has added two IPSO offices — namely CALABARZON and MIMAROPA, bringing the total IPSOs to 16 — and 22 Help Desks.

“We hope to see more areas realize the importance of IP assets not just in pushing their ranks in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) but also in fueling their residents’ creativity and innovativeness which their very own communities could benefit from,” Barba said. 

Trademarks

Trademark applications edged up by 1.2% to 41,953 from 41,452. Resident filings, which accounted for 61%, rose by 1% to 25,575. Non-resident filings grew 7%. 

Per industry, pharmaceuticals, health and cosmetics took up the lion’s share of 19.1% or 12,623 filings. Agricultural products and services, with 11,510 (17.4% share); scientific research, information and communication technology, with 9,139 (13.8%); management, communications, real estate and financial services, with 7,474 (11.3%); textiles in clothing and accessories, with 6,794 (10.3%), capped the top five classes for 2023 trademark applications.

Patents

Applications for a patent grant expanded by 2.9% to 4,544 from 4,418. Non-resident applications, which accounted for 84%, dropped by 7% annually. However, resident applications helped boost overall invention applications after booking a 46% rise. 

Pharmaceuticals, with 2,600 applications or a 24.8% share, topped the fields of technology applied for last year. Trailing behind were organic fine chemistry which totaled 1,046 (10.0% share); biotechnology, 803 (7.7%);  digital communication, 786 (7.5%); and basic materials chemistry, 763 (7.3%).

Utility Models (UM)

Across the board, UM registered the highest annual growth rate at 24%, after climbing to 1,847 applications from 1,489 in 2022. Resident filings, which accounted for 95%, jumped by 23%. Non-resident filings also grew by 37%. 

Bulk or 55.9% of UM filings were concentrated on food chemistry which saw 659 applications. Basic materials chemistry, with 78 applications (6.6% share);  organic fine chemistry, with 64 (5.4%); pharmaceuticals, with 46 (3.9%); and other special machines, with 41 (3.5%) followed.

Industrial Design (ID)

ID applications went up by 19.9% to 1,488 from 1,241, buoyed by residents which increased by 49% to take a 56.1% share in total ID filings. Non-resident filings, meanwhile, fell by 4%. 

The top ID applications were intended for means of transport or hoisting, with 152 applications (14.0% share); packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods, with 118 (10.8%); recording, communication or information retrieval equipment, with 84 (7.7%); furnishing, with 83 (7.6%); and articles of clothing and haberdashery, with 72 (6.6%). 

Copyright

As reported earlier, copyright deposits soared to 76% to 6,522 from 3,706, marking a historic high. 
The top type of copyrighted works registered at IPOPHL for recordal were books, pamphlets, articles, e-books, audio books, comics, novels, and other writings, with 3,432 or a 52.6% share. This was followed by audiovisual works and cinematographic works, totaling 1,181 (18.1% share); computer programs, software, games, applications, 573 (8.8%); musical compositions, 398 (6.1%); drawings, paintings, architectural works, sculpture, engraving, prints, lithography or other works of art, models or designs for works of art, 318 (4.9%).

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