Filings for intellectual property (IP) protection in the first half of 2021 posted a 20 percent year-on-year growth as the economy recovered further from eased lockdown restrictions, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) reported.

In total, IP applications stood at 22,919. Utility model (UM) filings saw the biggest increase at 26 percent, from the 592 recorded from January to June last year to 744.

IPOPHL said the increase was driven by residents whose filings climbed 29 percent from 555 to 715. On the other hand, non-resident UM filings contracted by 22 percent from 37 to 29.

The top fields for UM filings during the period were in food chemistry (239 filings); basic materials chemistry (39); special machines (32); handling (20); and IT methods for management (19).

Trademark filings increased as well by 23 percent from 15,969 filings to 19,649. Resident filings made up the bulk of the applications and registered a 39 percent surge from 8,859 to 12,288.

International filings, which are made through the Madrid Protocol, dropped 5 percent from 3,859 to 3,677.

Most trademark filings were in pharmaceuticals, health, cosmetics (5,786); agricultural products and services (5,473); scientific research, information and communication technology (4,204); management communications, real estate and financial services (3,614); and textiles, clothing and accessories (2,865).

Patent filings rose by 2 percent from 1,899 to 1,945. Majority of the growth came from non-residents with 165 filings, an increase of 23%. Filings through the international Patent Cooperation Treaty edged down by a mere 1% from 1,599 to 1,586.

The top fields for patent filings were in pharmaceuticals (1,020); organic fine chemistry (523); biotechnology (312); basic materials chemistry (198); and food chemistry (176).

Meanwhile, copyright deposits soared by 163 percent from 285 to 761.

However, lagging behind during the period was industrial design with filings sliding 10 10 percent to 581. While resident filings increased by 8 percent to 339, non-resident applications for ID decreased by 27 percent to 242.

Fields with the most ID filings were furnishing (26); means of transport or hoisting (26); packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods (22); articles of adornment (18); and fluid distribution equipment, sanitary, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, solid fuel (16).

IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba shared the good news of recovering filings at a recent event of the IP Office of Singapore in celebration of the country’s IP Week.

“This development is a strong indication that some businesses in the Philippines are recovering and seeing the importance of IP as a competitive tool,” Barba said at a plenary where he joined global IP leaders discuss how their respective countries are leveraging IP for economic recovery.

He also cited as contributing factors the availability of IPOPHL’s end-to-end service for online registration and the dedicated work the staff has put in encouraging IP protection.

Barba said IPOPHL will continue improving its online services to ensure smooth registrations. It will also continue amplifying its educational and capacity-building initiatives to reach more MSMEs and independent creators and innovators, ensuring an inclusive recovery.

While he recognizes the possible impacts of the re-imposition of stringent quarantine protocols on IP activities, Barba maintains a positive long-term outlook on IP’s contribution to economy and society.

“We’ve been seeing how disruptive companies and those who have built their brands on IP are bucking the crisis’ adverse effects on businesses. As we gear up for faster economic recovery, the country will inevitably realize more how IP is a catalyst for resilient growth. And IPOPHL will take this juncture as an opportunity to help the economy build stronger and the society think differently with IP,” the IPOPHL chief added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (