DIRECTOR GENERAL JOSEPHINE R. SANTIAGO LL.M.
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL)
Director General Josephine Rima-Santiago’s expansive and extensive experience in the field of the intellectual property system traverses two decades in government and in the private realm. In government, she was former Deputy Director General, Intellectual Property Office (1999-2002); Director, Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Dept. of Science and Technology (2006-2008); and an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (2011-2015). In the private sector, she was an intellectual property rights consultant and legal practitioner, professor of law, educator, and researcher.
When she assumed office as the fourth Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) on 08 October 2015, Atty. Santiago has come full circle bringing with her a distinctly holistic understanding, experience and skills needed to manage the lead national government agency in charge of intellectual property. A review of the office’s vision, mission and core values, internal policies and procedures have taken priority and led to significant changes to instill a culture of performance excellence and integrity among the employees. To ensure the implementation of its mandates, DG Santiago formulated the SMELT IP (Services, Mind to Market, Enforcement and Adjudication, Learning, Technology, Infrastructure, and Partnerships) Agenda. Under her watch, the IPOPHL has expanded its e-services allowing not only online filing but secured on-line correspondences between the applicant and the office until its final disposition envisioned to further improve turn-around time, which as it is is already one of the best turn-around times in the ASEAN. She has completed a Compendium of the Implementing Rules and Regulations, a user-friendly tool for researchers and practitioners aimed at providing accurate reference materials. A backlog reduction program undertaken in 2017 on adjudication had eliminated cases that have been long pending thereby contributing to further improvement in the disposition of cases.
She also successfully led the country’s bid to be appointed as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) by Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the second in the ASEAN and the 23rd in the world. In the priority of DG Santiago include the formulation and implementation of a Philippine National Intellectual Property Strategy (NIPS), the establishment of the Intellectual Property Academy, which will become the country’s foremost institution of learning and research on intellectual property, in addition to our advocacy of including intellectual property in the academic curriculum. She is pushing for the submission of a draft bill amending the Intellectual Property Code.
As a former legal practitioner and educator, she engaged in a modest legal practice in her own law firm while being a faculty member at the Faculties of Law of the De La Salle University and the Arellano University where she taught Intellectual Property Law for almost ten years. She held the distinction of being the only Filipino Faculty on Advanced Patent at the WIPO Academy’s Distance Learning Program since more than five years ago and served as resource person in various conferences, workshops and seminars, both local and international. As an ADR advocate, she was among those appointed as ADR Specialist by the Office of the President (2007) and included in the WIPO List of Neutrals of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (2015).
A graduate of the University of the Philippines with the degrees of B.S. in Foreign Service and Bachelor of Laws, DG Santiago further obtained the degree of Master of Laws in Intellectual Property from the joint program of the University of Turin in Italy and the WIPO Worldwide Academy.