IPOPHL hosts the PH's first-ever WIPO Summer School on Intellectual Property

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has jointly organized the first-ever WIPO-IPOPHL Summer School on Intellectual Property (IP) that aims to provide local and international individuals interested in IP and other IP-related matters with a brief but intensive education program. 

The 10-day course, to run from Sept. 2 to Sept.13, will mark the first time it will be held in the Philippines. The lectures will be conducted specifically at the IPOPHL Mutli-purpose Hall, Intellectual Property Center, McKinley Hills, Taguig City, Philippines.

The Summer School is regularly organised by WIPO Academy in partnership with universities or IP offices in developing and least-developed countries. A core unit at the WIPO, the Academy is a center of IP training; a catalyst in expanding the range and impact of training opportunities worldwide; and a hub of a virtual network of partners, experts, and teachers in development-oriented IP training. 

The WIPO Academy's reputation for excellence in IP training makes the Summer School a popular choice for students, young professionals and junior lawyers wanting to obtain a deeper understanding of IP. Worldwide participation in the Summer School has been increasing over the years, with that in 2018 alone seeing a 48% year-on-year growth. This heightened interest conveys WIPO Academy's success, in providing, through the Summer School, an opportunity for individuals to acquire deeper knowledge in IP and perceive it as a key tool for economic, social, cultural, and technological development. 

This objective of the Summer School is consistently met as participants learn from well-known local and international experts of the IP world and go through simulation exercises, case studies, and group discussions on selected IP and IP-related topics that are particularly relevant to the present times. 

Discussions cover all types of IP assets (Trademarks, Patent Inventions, Utility Models, Design, Trade Secrets, Geographical Indications, among others); common challenges in IP protection; enforcement; the alternative dispute resolution track; and the interface between the exhaustion of IP protection and Competition Laws, Public Health, Biotechnology, and E-commerce, to name a few. 

For its part, the IPOPHL views the WIPO-IPOPHL Summer School on IP as a milestone for its IP Academy, the office’s unit advocating for broader IP education. The IPOPHL, as a whole, views hosting such program a need to respond to the rapid global and local innovation-driven changes in various sectors, particularly science and business, which is compelling players who want to be ahead of the competition in their fields to harness an efficient IP strategy.

“IP is a key tool that leads to economic, scientific, social, and cultural development as it adds value to products, solutions, services, or innovations,” IPOPHL Director-General Jospehine R. Santiago said.

"The increasing demand for IP creation, protection, utilisation, and commercialization, coupled with the growing complexities of various technological innovations around the world, makes the Summer School as one of the necessary activities that any IP office should conduct. We hope this is a first step towards more and bigger projects with the WIPO Academy," IP Academy Officer-in-Charge Assistant Director Frederick P. Romero, Ph.D. said. 

The WIPO-IPOPHL Summer School has so far drawn in the interest of several academe members, researchers, legal practitioners, young professionals, and students. This diversity signifies the increasing acknowledgement of the importance of IP in an innovation-driven arena.  

For the legal sector, its services are of huge importance to the growing number of businesses that seek advice on implementing an effective IP protection strategy. The Summer School can address these needs with the practical IP management practices it aims to introduce. A session is allotted to help participants be familiarised with the common online infringing acts and abuses of marks. Lecturers will offer ways for IP stakeholders to prevent themselves from falling victim to these criminal practices, as well as actions they can take once they find that their IP rights are violated. 

The IP needs of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) will also have special focus under the IP Entrepreneurship and MSME session which will tackle best practices employed by successful MSMEs. Here, MSMEs will learn to leverage the IP system in striving to gain market share and in accessing markets which are otherwise difficult to penetrate without deep pockets.

Meanwhile, researchers can significantly benefit from discussions on Technology Transfer and Licensing and the conduct of a simulation exercise on Licensing negotiations. Activities like these help budding inventors learn how to succeed in seeing their inventions launched into the market. 

“The primary purpose of an IP system is to make every inventor’s dream happen: to see their hard work yield additional value by way of commercialisation. Aside from the economic gains commercialisation offers to inventors, consumer welfare also emerges as an aspect that can significantly benefit from these inventions especially if they prove to be practical and effective in resolving real-life issues as well as in providing convenience and ease to one’s daily grind,” DG Santiago said. 

In all, participants, whether a graduate/post-graduate student or a professional, will surely come out of the program with a deeper appreciation of how IP affects our lives, and understand how IP can be a driver to positive outcomes for a nation as a whole. 

“Effective and aggressive utilisation of the IP system serves as a catalyst in having an innovation- and creativity-fostering nation. Without a system that defends one’s rights to have his or her ideas and inventions protected, the world will be much less of what it is today, especially in terms of technological advancements. The Summer School then serves as a great avenue to bring people to see the IP system in this light, ” DG Santiago added.

Registration for the WIPO-IPOPHL Summer School is ongoing and the IP Academy aims to attract more participants who are seen as potential comrades in building societies that cultivate a culture of respect for IP.

Registration costs P10,500 for each student and P15,600 for each professional. Interested participants may register online at bit.ly/IPOPHLSummerSchool2019 or inquire through email at ipacademy@ipophil.gov.ph, or by phone at 238-6300 local 1007, 5402.

For more details, please visit bit.ly/IPsummerschoolinfo.