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IP filing for innovation and technology continues to rise with participation from academic institutions

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The Innovation and Technology Support Program of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) saw last year’s filings from members jump to a record-high as more universities and colleges joined the program.

Data from the Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau show that the aggregate IP filings of Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs) — higher education institutions (HEIs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) and other institutions part of the innovation program — hit an all-time high of 1,535 in 2023, rising by 47.6% annually and eclipsing the 1,040 record in 2022.

Innovation-related IPs, namely patents, utility models (UM) and industrial designs (ID), took up almost 90% of all filings received in all 87 ITSOs last year, while the rest were trademarks. 

Patents filed last year totaled 427, 77% higher than in 241 in 2022. UM saw a 28% increase to 736 from 574. ID jumped by 57% to 200 from 127. Trademarks grew by 76% to 172 from 98. Meanwhile, copyright deposits saw a 119.8% growth to 521 from 237.

IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba attributed the growth to, aside from the agency’s capacity building, the increase in the number of ITSO members — from 77 in 2022 to 87 today.

“ITSO member-institutions serve as frontliners to our IP stakeholders in universities and colleges, committed to accelerating the use of the IP system in their communities. The record-high filings are proof of the outcomes of the ITSO 2.0 Program in helping build our innovation capabilities to power our nation’s socioeconomic growth and development,” Barba said. 

The ITSO is IPOPHL’s flagship program to capacitate members to conduct patent information search, patent drafting, IP application, IP commercialization and IP awareness activities. In 2019, the program was redesigned to create the ITSO 2.0, which sets varying cluster deliverables to provide members with more tailored support based on their levels of innovation and IP capacities. 

To further boost filings, the DITTB further revised the ITSO Clustering to increase the quality of patent applications, encourage more patent grants and encourage more commercialization, securing patent protection abroad and involvement of ITSOs as pro-bono volunteers in the WIPO-Inventors Assistance Program in order to help more financially challenged inventors secure patent protection.

Commercialization up

“More importantly, under the ITSO 2.0 Program, we see our ITSO partners continuing to push their technologies to break new ground. IP commercialization continued to move at full throttle last year as more ITSOs were driven to make an impact in society through their IPs,” Barba said. 

Data show that 39 ITSOs engaged in activities toward commercialization, up by 50% from 26 ITSOs in 2022. This led to 74 reported commercialization activities last year, an increase of 51% from the previous year. 

To further boost commercialization, the DITTB recently incorporated the Inventor Assistance Program into its ITSO Program. 

“By encouraging ITSO managers to enroll as pro bono IP experts, we can help financially challenged inventors secure patents here and abroad,” DITTB Director Ralph Jarvis H. Alindogan said. 

And to respond to the specific needs of ITSOs, Alindogan added that revisions have been made to their clustering measures, such as taking into account UM and ID filing activities and registered IP assets. The enhanced clustering also added the Palladium category to recognize ITSOs qualified for the Platinum category for five straight years or secured a patent in a foreign country.

Top ITSO filers

To celebrate these new heights attained, over 200 attendees, including heads and representatives of ITSO institutions from around the country, gathered on Monday in Dusit Thani Manila for the 2024 ITSO President’s Summit with  the theme, “Celebrating Collaboration, Cultivating Innovation.”

The following are the winners:

  1. Top Patent Filer: Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (44 filings)
  2. Top UM Filer: Cebu Technological University (291)
  3. Top ID Filer: Design Center of the Philippines (56)
  4. Top TM Filer: Central Mindanao University (24)
  5. Top Copyright Filer: Isabela State University (148)

At the event, Deputy Director General Ann Claire C. Cabochan urged local innovators to continue maximizing the services of ITSO 2.0 and ensure that their IPs are brought to markets. 

“Protect your IPs and continue commercializing them with the help of your ITSOs. The right investor and manufacturer may be just around the corner. So widen your network and that might just widen the reach of various communities where your technologies can make a difference,” Cabochan added.
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 1. Copyright registrations serve to strengthen authors’ proof of ownership over their copyright and not formally recognize the protection of a work as copyright to original works is granted automatically upon the moment of creation. As copyright registrations have a different objective compared to other IP registrations and can only partially reflect the overall copyright-based activities in the country, they are hence separated from the overall count of formal registration applications.

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