Central Visayas leads other regions in patent filings in Philippines
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - March 27, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Central Visayas came out leading the patent filings last year among the regions in the country.

Regional demand for patent protection continues to be driven by the scientific and creative sector in Region 7 which filed the most number of patent filings in 2018, according to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

Patent is a government license conferring a right to a certain invention.

IPOPHL director general Josephine Santiago recognized the robust economic activity in Central Visayas, making the accessibility to intellectual property services very essential.

IPOPHL has satellite offices in Cebu and Dumaguete.

Data from the Intellectual Property Satellite Office (IPSO) in Cebu showed the region's patent filings grew from 197 to 210 in 2018. This 6.6 % growth came from applications for  utility models, or innovations that are improvements on an existing invention, and may or may not involve an inventive step.

Patent filings cover inventions, utility models and industrial designs.

Utility model filings, mostly from research institutions and universities in Central Visayas, took up nearly 90% (188 applications) of all patent filings.

This indicates an increasing innovation particularly from research and development, and higher education institutions from Central Visayas.

In fact, in terms of overall utility model filings nationwide, IPOPHL data showed Cebu Technological University as a top applicant, coming in with the second highest number of UM filings after Capiz State University.

Santiago said the agency had worked to enable the academe to concretize their intellectual capital into patent applications, noting the wealth of scientific innovation and creativity they contribute.

Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs) are in-house patent libraries of universities and research institutions that are developed jointly by an institution and the IPOPHL.

Research and development institutions and universities continue to be significant drivers of patent filing activities in the Philippines, as 41 percent of total local patent filings came from ITSOs (193 out of 464) in 2018.

IPSO Cebu served about 1,114 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in 2018 through orientation seminars, IP consultation and coaching and patent drafting seminars.

Historically, Region 7 has been particularly active in applying for utility models - it has ranked first in utility model filings among IPOPHL’s 14 IPSOs nationwide.

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