IPOPHL to help small firms apply for international patents

THE intellectual property office said it plans to assist small businesses applying for international patents under a partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

The PCCI and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) signed a memorandum of agreement Monday to work on training business representatives and promoting the country’s intellectual property (IP) assets.

“We will be assisting MSMEs (micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises) in filing under the patent cooperation treaty — the international route for patent applications — and even under the Madrid protocol for trademarks, IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said at the event.

The Madrid system manages trademark registrations worldwide through a streamlined process.

Under the agreement, IPOPHL will also help market IP assets from PCCI members and help them commercialize their products.

The Philippines’ largest business group in turn will promote IPOPHL programs that incentivize small businesses to protect their IP.

The two organizations committed to create mentorship opportunities and to showcase incubated technologies in various events.

IP filings rose 21% in the first four months of the year to 15,028 as businesses started to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Filings declined by 12% in 2020, with inventors and creatives delaying applications due to subdued business activity during the lockdown declared to contain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). — Jenina P. Ibañez