Intellectual property filings hit record high in 2019
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Intellectual property (IP) applications received by the IP Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) reached a record high last year, driven by filings for trademarks.

In a statement, IPOPHL said filings for IP protection reached 47,282 last year, up by nine percent from the 43,300 applications received in 2018.

Filings for trademarks, or a word or group of words, sign, symbol or logo to differentiate goods or services from others, posted the biggest growth at 10 percent, reaching 39,399 last year from 35,672 in 2018.

IPOPHL said bulk of the trademark filings were for agricultural products and services.

Trademark applications were also made for pharmaceuticals, health, cosmetics, scientific research, information and communication technology, management, communications, real estate, financial services, as well as textiles, clothing and accessories.

Applications for industrial design (ID) or those referring to the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article, climbed seven percent to 1,631 last year from 1,522 in 2018.

Sectors which made ID filings include transport or hoisting, furnishing, and packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods.

Meanwhile, utility model (UM) or minor patent filings increased four percent to 2,228 last year from 2,144 in 2018.

Sectors with the most number of UM filings are food chemistry, basic materials chemistry, furniture and pharmaceuticals.

Applications for patents or the exclusive right for an invention applied to a product, process or an improvement of a product or process, rose two percent to 4,024 last year from 3,962 in 2018.

Top industries which applied for patents are pharmaceuticals, organic fine chemistry, biotechnology, digital communication and food chemistry.

Copyright deposits, meanwhile, declined 7.55 percent year-on-year to 1,862 last year.

The increase in IPOPHL offices in the country contributed in the record-high filings last year.

IPOPHL opened two new satellite offices in Butuan City in the Caraga Region and Vigan City in Ilocos last year, bringing the total number of offices in operations to 16.

Innovation and technology support offices housed in universities and colleges to deliver basic IPOPHL services, likewise contributed to last year’s growth in filings.

Another effort that supported the increase in IP applications is the  completion of eight Patent Landscape Reports which outline technological trends and competition in a particular field to help  local industries and research and development institutions in their commercial decisions.

“While we hope we could sustain the filings growth, we are still weighing how the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak will influence filing activities in the Philippines,” IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba said.

He said the IPOPHL is closely monitoring experiences in other countries to get a glimpse of what to expect.

He said one IP office is reported to have a slowdown, while one has seen a surge particularly in trademark filings as businesses want to associate their trading names with the word ‘corona,’ to ride on the popularity of the virus.

“We hope to get a fuller view of its impact middle of this year,” he said.

To comply with the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to contain the spread of COVID-19, IPOPHL has suspended manual filing for IP protection and shifted its focus to using online platforms to accept applications.

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