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Intellectual Property Office targets countryside expansion

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THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is considering intellectual property (IP) filings in the countryside to increase this by half of 2017 levels, as the agency bolsters awareness of the significance of intellectual property in doing business.

The agency said it will be undertaking this year “significant expansion strides in untapped cities,” part of which is setting up two more intellectual property satellite offices (IPSOs) this year: one in Dumaguete by May 23 and another in Zamboanga by the second half of the year.

“Our overarching objective in spreading the presence of IPSOs is to be able to stimulate the countryside into knowing and making the public, especially the micro,small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), know that trademark is very relevant to their business — and to directly bring our services to them,” IPOPHL Director General Josephine R. Santiago was quoted in a statement issued Friday.

“We expect that with this, there will be more filers,” she added.

Intellectual property filings received by IPOPHL cover trademarks, patents, copyright deposits, utility models, industrial designs and layout of integrated circuits.

In the regions and provinces, however, the IP filings facilitated by IPSOs are comprised mostly of trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

Provincial IP filings stood at 3,439 in 2017 while a 50% growth would bring the total to 5,159 for 2018.

On the total IP filings from the countryside in 2017, trademarks took 5% or 2,025; copyright deposits, 27%, or 933 filings; and patents, 14% or 481.

“Increasing the filing and use of IP services is critical in order for IPOPHL to continuously promote intellectual property all across the country,” Deputy Director General Teodoro C. Pascua said, noting that the agency saw an average of 14% annual growth in provincial IP filings from 2013 to 2017.

The growth was tied to the intensified establishment of IPSOs which provide IP-related services to entrepreneurs across several select provinces.

The country currently has 11 IPSOs housed within Trade Department offices, namely, in Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Pampanga, Legazpi, General Santos, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Tuguegarao, Tacloban, and the National Capital Region office. — JCL