Jan-April 2021 filings grow 21%, shows early recovery

May 26, 2021

Demand for intellectual property rights protection is showing early signs of pickup as filings in the first four months grew 21% to 15,028 from the 12,409 in the comparable period last year.

Driving the growth were utility model (UM) filings which soared 33% to 420 from 315. 

Resident filers accounted for over 95% with filings at 401, a 38% year-on-year growth. Meanwhile, the top fields of technology were food chemistry (142 filings); basic materials chemistry (26); other special machines (25); handling (15); and IT methods for management (11).

This was followed by trademark applications which rose 26% to 13,041 from 10,354 a year ago. Residents, which contributed the bulk to trademark filings, gave the boost as it surged 48% to 8,089. 

The top industries for trademark filings were in pharmaceuticals, health, cosmetics (3,939); agricultural products and services (3,546); scientific research, information and communication technology (2,848); management, communications, real estate and financial services (2,419); and textiles, clothing and accessories (1,914).

Meanwhile, patent filings declined 6% to 1,235 from 1,320. The biggest dampener was the 31% drop in non-resident filings, bringing the total to 71. On the other hand, resident filings edged up by 15% to 129. 

Most patents during the period were filed in the fields of pharmaceuticals (543); organic fine chemistry (311); biotechnology (154); basic materials chemistry (115); and food chemistry (63).

For industrial designs, filings dropped 21% to 332 from 420. This was due to applications both by residents and non-residents falling 5% and 34%, respectively. 

The top fields of technology for industrial design fillings were in furnishing (16); articles of adornment (8); other machines (7); fluid distribution equipment, sanitary, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, solid fuel (6); other household goods (6); packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods (6).

Meanwhile, copyright deposits grew 91% to 444 from 233. 

IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said the pickup in filings, notably in trademarks and utility models, could indicate “a more positive outlook among businesses and innovation players on the country’s pace of recovery from the pandemic.”

“It could also signify that businesses are rebuilding stronger by integrating IP protection in their innovation and branding strategies,” Barba said.

In 2020, filings for the first time were down across all types of IP, with some logging record-lows, as several business activities had been subdued by COVID-19 and the period of extreme uncertainty that followed.

The IPOPHL chief said he maintains his hopes to see IP filings in 2021 bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels, noting “the Office continues to double awareness and education efforts on the benefits of IP to businesses and streamline our digital registration services to provide ease to registrants.” ### (Janina Lim, Media Relations Officer)


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