Demystifying “a highly technical” subject like intellectual Property (IP) has been a challenge many a great mind has wrestled with and strive to conquer. Who would have thought that a program, relatively young at nine years old, would result in remarkable progress in mainstreaming this “highly technical” subject that is IP?
The project was first conceptualized by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) in 2010, envisioned as a network of local institutions that can guide budding innovators throughout their IP journey. This project concretised with the establishment of Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs), today expansive with 85 members.
These ITSOs are universities or higher educational institutions that committed to house patent libraries and assist innovators from patent search and drafting services to the prosecution of patent applications.
Being front liners to IP stakeholders, ITSOs continuously go through capacity training and workshops to elevate the quality of their services.
ITSOs have proven to be highly effective in accelerating society’s use of the IP system, as shown from the rise of IP filings in recent years.
Last year, IP filings from ITSOS jumped to 1,425, marking nearly a ten-fold surge from only 154 in 2014. Also in 2018, filings from ITSOs accounted for a huge share in resident applications across patent inventions (41%) and utility models (45%).
“The hike in IP filings signifies the country’s deepening understanding of the benefits of an IP system, thanks mostly to the heightened visibility of the IPOPHL through ITSOs. We intend to take on more activities that will lead to the concretisation of our ambition to demystify IP,” IPOPHL Director-General Josephine R. Santiago said.
For the betterment of the innovation landscape, the IPOPHL and its ITSO partners regularly look back at the gains that the IP system has redounded from their strengthened ties.
This review is held annually through several collaborative dialogues, the next one being the Presidents’ Summit, an annual high-level gathering that engages heads of ITSO partners into forward-moving discussions.
For this year’s Presidents’ Summit, IPOPHL and ITSO-heads intend to review the 2010-crafted objectives of their partnership. In addition, future plans and new activities for ITSOs will be revealed.
Another big gathering much awaited this year is the ITSO General Assembly (GA). For 2019, the GA will be hosted by the Our Lady of Fatima University-Pampanga, one of IPOPHL’s ITSO partners.
“The annual GA aims to update the ITSO universities of the current developments and status of the ITSO project. It is a culmination of a series of focus group discussions held for an entire year. At the GA, the IPOPHL, ITSO heads, and other stakeholders discuss plans and programs to move the ITSO member-institutions as catalysts in fostering innovation as well as share best practices in operating ITSOs, promoting research activities, ensuring the quality of research and confer about issues and concerns related to IP,” DG Santiago added. (JANINA C. LIM, Media Relations Officer, Advocacy and Communications Team, Office of the Director-General,Intellectual Property Office (IPO)