Intellectual property applications rise as restrictions ease

INTELLECTUAL property (IP) filings increased by 20% in the first half after eased lockdown restrictions supported economic recovery, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said.

IP applications in the first six months stood at 22,919, driven by a 23% increase in trademark filings to 19,649 from 15,969 in the same period last year.

The bulk of trademark filings were in pharmaceutical, health, and cosmetic products, along with agricultural products and services.

“This development is a strong indication that some businesses in the Philippines are recovering and seeing the importance of IP as a competitive tool,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said in a press release on Monday.

IP filings declined in 2020 as inventors and creatives delayed applications amid the lockdown declared to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In the first half of 2021, utility model filings went up 26% to 744, almost 240 of which were in food chemistry.

Patent filings inched up 2% to 1,945, the top fields for which were pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry.

Copyright deposits surged 163% to 751.

In contrast, industrial design applications dropped 10% to 581. Although resident filings went up by 8% to 339, non-resident filings fell 27% to 242. Fields that received the most industrial design applications were furnishing and means of transport or hoisting, with 26 each.

Mr. Barba said that the agency’s online registration system helped increase IP filings, but he recognizes the potential impact of recent stricter lockdowns on intellectual property activities.

“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,” he said. —

Jenina P. Ibañez