IPOPHL cites Philippines’ IP growth momentum at WIPO General Assemblies

October 5, 2021

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) highlighted at the 62nd World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) General Assemblies (GA), which started last Oct. 4, 2021, the major gains of the Philippines in advancing intellectual property (IP) rights for innovation, creativity, and national economic recovery.

Representing the Philippines, IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba, put into spotlight the improved ranking of the country’s Innovation Output in the 2021 Global Innovation Index.

“We continued to perform above our level of economic status. We are confident that we can boost our trajectory as the Philippines is steadfast in employing a whole-of-nation approach in prioritizing IP and innovation in our development agenda,” Barba said at the opening day of the WIPO assembly.

The IPOPHL chief also reported the recovering demand for IP protection as filings grew by 20% year-on-year during the first half of 2021. 

This compels the agency to further the digitalization of its services which took center stage in the DG’s report. 

Barba also highlighted the series of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Webinars IPOPHL held in celebration of the PCT’s 20th anniversary of effectivity in the country.

“As an international authority, we have, for 2020, 100% completion of international search reports and written opinions and 100% compliance in the timeliness of transmittal to WIPO within the prescribed nine months from priority date,” Barba said.  

On hiking trademark use, Barba touted gains in its Juana Make A Mark program which has benefitted over 3,000 women-led MSMEs and continues to bring more opportunities with its ongoing offer of reduced registration costs.

Barba also unveiled IPOPHL’s soon-to-be launched public-private-sector-supported incentive package that will assist MSMEs in registering their trademarks abroad through the Madrid System, which is critical in ensuring their brands’ global success. 

Barba also assured WIPO and its member states of the whole-of-society approach the country is taking to enforce IP rights.

“Our ADR Program has been accredited by our Department of Justice. We revised the Implementing Rules and Regulations on Enforcement which covers take- down procedures. We have intensified our partnership with the private sector particularly, with 16 rights holders and e-commerce platforms, to adopt a Code of Conduct in online transactions by improving notice-and-take-down procedures for online sites, including information sharing with government agencies to address repeat IPR infringements,” Barba said. 

The Philippines lauded WIPO’s completion of its Medium Term Strategic Plan 2022-2026 and assured IPOPHL’s full support of the inclusive and development driven IP agenda. 

“This Plan is exactly what everyone needs to successfully navigate through all the challenges that we, as IP offices, practitioners, and stakeholders are facing during this pandemic,” Barba said. 

“We thank WIPO for the partnership and support. The Philippines looks forward to continuing the partnership with WIPO and our IP Office partners as we all collectively work to ensure that the IP system serves the greater good,” Barba added.

Earlier at the WIPO GA, Barba also spoke as chair of the ASEAN Working Group on IP Cooperation and highlighted the stronger collaboration among IP offices in the region, with WIPO to further improve delivery of service to ASEAN stakeholders.

The GA is an annual event that gathers WIPO’s 193 member-states to provide updates on their individual progress and together build cooperation toward future policy directions.