IP Filings for H1 2019 Increase 11% Year-Over-Year

Published on September 16, 2019 

Application for registration of Intellectual Property (IP) assets filed at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) totaled 22,952 in January to June this year. This translates to an 11% climb from the 20,628 applications of trademarks, inventions, utility models, and industrial designs filed in the comparable period last year.

IPOPHL Director-General Josephine R. Santiago attributed the increased filings to the concrete programs and efforts IPOPHL continues to effectively and aggressively implement: IP education and awareness campaigns; capacity-building of Innovation and Technology Support Offices which had actively been filing inventions and utility models; the active involvement of Intellectual Property Satellite Offices (IPSOs); the expansion of the IPSO network with the launching of three more offices in 2018, namely in Dumaguete in May, Zamboanga in August, and Naga in September; and the extension of the Juana program which waives fees for MSMEs. 

“These figures reflect the success of our continuing efforts at the IPOPHL. With a widened and deepened understanding of IP, society is now appreciating the IP system more than ever,” DG Santiago said. 

DG Santiago noted, however, that applications for any IP domain do not demonstrate trends in a certain period within a year. Thus, the IPOPHL looks forward to seeing the year-end figures to assess how it compares with last year’s overall growth. This way, the Office is able to evaluate in a broader approach how certain government strategies and policies affect the local society’s utilization of the IP system, the degree of which is one of the criteria at which innovation and economic progress are pegged. 

Trademark (TM)

Applications in TMs in the first half reached 18,964, rising 11% year-on-year. Resident filers for TMs totaled 10,970, growing 6%. Non-resident filers stood at 3, 894, 2% up.

Meanwhile, filings under the Madrid System soared 42% to 4,100. The Madrid System is an international TM application system that allows for a single filing for registration in multiple countries that are members to the system.

On industries, most of the total filings were in agricultural products and services; pharmaceuticals, health, cosmetics; and scientific research, information and communication technology.

A TM is a word, a group of words, sign, symbol, logo or a combination thereof that identifies and differentiates the source of the goods or services of one entity from those of others. If you’re a business, distinguishing your goods or services from others gives you a competitive edge.

The Joint Examination Track Procedure for filing, which the IPOPHL started implementing on Jan. 21 this year, gave way for the Office to process more applications. As of June 30, 2019, filing to assignment to a TM examiner took only 15 days, a 38% reduction from 24 days as of December 2018. 

Patent

Patent filings grew 4% to 1,991. Filings from residents decreased by 40% to 148 while that of non-residents who directed their applications at the IPOPHL increased 6% to 186.

Meanwhile, filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) grew by 10% to 1,657. The PCT is one of the international routes that allows single application for patent protection across multiple jurisdictions, specifically in 152 contracting parties to the Treaty. The PCT provides services such as international search, international publication, national phase, and other optional services such as supplementary international search and preliminary search examination. 

Based on country of origin, the United States, Japan, and China topped the list of all patent filings, accounting for 24%, 20%, and 13% respectively. Most filings were in the pharmaceuticals applications, organic fine chemistry, and biotechnology.

A patent is an exclusive right granted for a certain period for an invention applied to a product, process or an improvement of a product or process which is new, inventive, and useful. 

On May 20 this year, the IPOPHL began operation as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPA), enabling it to conduct search and preliminary examination of international applications filed under the PCT of the WIPO. The Philippines is the second country in Southeast Asia and 23rd worldwide to be certified as ISA/IPA under the global PCT.

Utility model (UM)

Filings in the UM segment totaled 1,173 in the first semester of 2019, posting a 31% growth. About 97% of the UMs filed in the first semester of 2019 were from residents, which booked 1,133 filings or a 32% year-on-year hike. Nonresidents’ applications numbered 40, a 21% increase. 

Most UMs were in the field of food chemistry, handling, and furniture and games.

A UM is often referred to as a “minor patent.” Compared to patented inventions, application for UM is inexpensive, faster to obtain, and with less stringent patentability requirements.

Industrial Design (ID) 

Filings for ID totaled 824, a 14% rise year-on-year. Some 567 residents filed for ID protection, registering a 44% climb. Non-residents’ filing for ID registration stood at 257, a 22% decrease from a year ago. 

The top three fields for ID filings were in furnishing; packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods; and means of transport or hoisting.

An ID is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. It covers three-dimensional features (shape or surface of an article), or the two-dimensional features (patterns or lines of color). The subject of IDs ranges from fashion to industrial goods such as handicrafts, jewellery, vehicles, appliances, among others. 

Copyrights

Deposition of copyrights at IPOPHL jumped 53% to 990, reflecting a boost of creativity in the country during the period. 

Copyrights are a bundle of exclusive rights extended to an owner of an original work in the literary, scientific, and artistic domains. Copyright laws grant authors, artists, and other creators automatic protection for their literary and artistic creations from the moment of creation.

Copyrights depositions are excluded from the tally of the total IP filings.