The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), through its IP Academy, has partnered with Philippine Trade Trading Center – Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to mainstream and integrate intellectual property (IP) education in the training and learning programs of PTTC-GMEA for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).
“We recognize the role of PTTC-GMEA and our mother agency, the DTI, in enabling our MSMEs to reach greater heights so we are very glad to seal a partnership with them. Through this partnership, IPOPHL can contribute in strengthening MSMEs especially in these trying times,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.
“We see our advocacy in pushing for wider IP as effective in enhancing MSMEs’ competitiveness, scaling up the market competition and giving consumers a wider range of options. This in turn is hoped to stimulate their purchasing appetite, and in turn revitalize demand,” Barba added.
The two agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry have formalized their partnership through the completed signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last Friday.
Specifically, the MoU tasks IPOPHL to develop IP training programs and course materials for PTTC-GMSEA; capacitate a select group of resource persons within the PTTC to build their knowledge on IP for them to eventually be effective IP lecturer for MSMEs across various regions; and increase its mentoring programs on IP for MSMEs.
For its part, the PTTC-GMEA will aim to develop and encourage an environment for the effective and efficient use of the IP system by the MSMEs, which is vital to the promotion of creative and innovative activities in the country.
The PTTC-GMEA and IPOPHL will also work on integrating IP modules into courses and learning paths where applicable.
The IPOPHL chief said the partnership with the national center of MSME training is also seen to help MSMEs optimize IPOPHL programs that are designed specifically for their sector to grow.
An IP strategy involves identifying which components of the IP spectrum is most suitable for a business to leverage, given their product or service offerings and operations, and how they can best safeguard their IP rights once granted by IPOPHL. Having an IP strategy will enable MSMEs to be more profitable and more attractive to investors who can provide them with capital — crucial especially as MSMEs commonly deal with limited access to financing, as aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis.
Filing activities at IPOPHL are largely driven by MSMEs. From 2015 to 2019, the average annual share of MSMEs to IP filings stood at 78% for inventions; 77% for trademarks; 75% for utility models; and 68% for industrial designs.