IP filings rise by 15% in 2018

Published on March 4, 2019


Intellectual property (IP) filings, both from Filipinos and foreign nationals, saw an increase of 15% in 2018, reflecting the continued growth of the local creative and scientific economy.


Filings for patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, and copyright deposits in 2018 amounted to 44,461, exhibiting a growth of 15 % over 2017’s 38,801 applications. This brings the 5-year average growth rate of IP filings to 7%.


“We are now seeing the results of our deliberate move for closer engagement with the academe, businesses and industry in regions outside of Metro Manila. In 2018 alone, we opened three intellectual property satellite offices (IPSOs) in Dumaguete, Naga, and Zamboanga to reach out to IP creators there,” noted Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Josephine R. Santiago.


Increased filings at both the local and global level, not only means increased productivity of the scientific and creative communities but also reflects a rising recognition of the economic added-value of intellectual property in commercial activity and in research & development.


“This signifies that more and more people are utilising IP to enhance competitiveness in business, and as an incentive to make commercially-viable technology,” the agency head added.


Another contributing factor to this growth is IPOPHL’s deployment in 2018 of its full suite of online filing systems for trademarks, invention, utility models and industrial design, allowing easier filing for applicants.


Data show that IP filings coursed online jumped from 7,645 (across all IP types, except copyright deposits) in 2017 to 10, 346 last year or an increase of 35 % year-on-year. Online filings have steadily been growing since the first online facilities were launched in 2016.


Per type of IP, the year-on-year filings growth rate again is led by utility model registering a 54% growth or from 1,380 in 2017 to 2,124 in 2018. Keeping to the historical precedence, majority of the UMs filed in 2018 were in the field of food chemistry / food technology, indicating that the innovation direction of local innovators is still towards foodstuffs & agricultural goods.


Trademarks, having already reached a significant scale in filings, registered an 11% growth in 2018, translating to some 35,602 applications. By class, majority of trademark applications were in agricultural products and services, a break from the past years when pharmaceuticals, health, and cosmetics took the top share.


Patents saw a growth of 28 % in 2018, amounting to 3,946 applications. The top field of technology for patent applications is in pharmaceuticals, unchanged since 2014.


Industrial designs (ID) grew by 9% in 2018 vs. 2017,amounting to 1,521. Data shows majority of ID applications were filed in the class of packages and containers for the transport and handling of goods.


Copyright deposit recordation meanwhile grew by 29 %, from 983 filings in 2017 to 1,268 in 2018 .

“Intellectual property underlies many of the critical sectors driving the vibrancy of a knowledge-based economy like the Philippines, as the filings data show. We hope in 2019 and onwards, many more IP creators come to realize this,” Director General Santiago added.

The IPOPHL conducts numerous free, basic orientation seminars for the public, and more advanced patent drafting workshops in collaboration with universities that are part of its Innovation and Technology Support (ITSO) network. The Office also has a suite of online filing systems for the convenience of IP creators, available on its website.


Utility models protect innovations that are not sufficiently inventive to meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents application. It must, however, have practical utility, have industrial applicability, and novelty. The utility model is an industrial property right intended to accommodate small enterprises and local industries, given it is less costly and easier to obtain than a patent.

Trademarks serve as ‘source-identifiers’, meant to distinguish one business’ goods and services from others , and can be a significant marketing tool for enterprises to establish brand recognition.

A patent is an exclusive right granted for a product, a process or improvement of either that meets the requirements of industrial applicability, inventiveness, and novelty. As an exclusive right, a patent allows the inventor to prohibit others from making, using, or selling the product of his invention during the life of the patent.