The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is urging Filipino creators and innovators to “act fast” and protect their intellectual property (IP) rights from infringement amid challenges of globalization.
IPOPHL Director-General Josephine Santiago underscored the importance to protect IP rights to have a “fair chance” of winning a market especially at the rate at which globalization is currently moving.
“Industrial revolutions, rising protectionism, creation of global value chains, proliferation of start-ups and disruptive new business models. All of these shaped and/or continue to shape the world we live in. Amidst all these changes, only those who own and protect their intellectual capital thrives,” she said.
Santiago said global IP applications thus reached record-breaking heights in 2017. Total worldwide filings for patents, trademarks, industrial designs and utility models reached 3.17 million, 12.39 million, 1.24 million, and 1.76 million, respectively.
In all these IP rights, Asia, specifically, China, Japan and Korea, received the highest number of applications.
Santiago also enumerated the importance of IP and other intangible assets in the economic development of a country.
For the Philippines alone, she cited a 2017 study indicating the direct contribution of trademark-intensive industries accounted for at least 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), while indirect impact totaled 41 percent.
It was found that the three most trademark-intensive industries in the country are manufacturing, information communications technology (ICT), and construction, she added.
The study further noted that trademark-intensive industries in the Philippines account for 15 percent of the overall employment in the country.
Santiago said parallel to the increase in global IP filings is the overall increase in innovation investments as evidenced by the results of the 2019 Global Innovation Index (GII).
She noted there has been a significant growth in the use of IP and an increasing global expenditure on research and development (R&D), including by various governments.
Results of the 2019 GII showed the Philippines leapfrogged from its previous ranking at 73/126 to 54, now within the top 42 percent, making it among the countries in the lower middle income group that performed above expectations given its level of development.
“As such, the country, for the first time, also entered the list of the innovation achievers. This is an important achievement for us. But there is still a lot to be done and the Philippine government is working double-time to achieve new heights in the global innovation race,” she added.
Santiago said President Rodrigo Duterte last April signed into law two bills that are widely perceived as significant catalysts in spurring innovation in the local landscape –the Innovative Startup Act and the Philippine Innovation Act.
The Innovative Startup Act provides incentives to startups and lifts barriers to their establishment, while the Innovation Act augments the efforts laid down in the first and authorizes government agencies to adopt policies that place innovation at the center of the country’s development policies.