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Innovation rut

The Intellectual Property of the Philippines (IPOPHL) encouraged the academe to focus on commercializing innovations to help drive a recovery in IP filings this year following last year’s drop amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba and Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau director, Mary Grace Cruz-Yap, asked the Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs) and its university and institution partners about their concerns on processes that need to be addressed for a quick turnaround in registration.

ITSO filings have been increasing in recent years but filings for patents and utility models have declined by 76 percent from the previous year. Applications for industrial designs and patents also plunged by 69 and 62 percent respectively.

“We must strive to rise again. And we have high hopes on ITSOs to turn around the lackluster innovation scene in 2020 to the vibrant environment it used to be before COVID-19, or even better,” Cruz-Yap said.

To support ITSOs and stakeholders, IPOPHL has been providing e-services for a smooth online experience from filing to registration and would continue efforts to streamline the processes as it strives to sustain its gains in the Global Innovation Index and encourage the discovery of technologies that can help in economic recovery and social development.

Given the proper support from government and the private sector, innovation should be COVID-proof as innovators can collaborate using available technologies. Last year’s decline is understandable but with 2021 looking like it’s going to be a rerun of 2020, our country’s innovators will have to find the ways and means to continue their good work despite the many challenges that most of us will have adapted to after a full year of the same old thing happening over and over again.

There is no reason for the lack of imagination and innovation shown by government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to be contagious. If there is anything good that came from it, our country’s innovators and imagineers have all the time in the world to cultivate ideas that can contribute to our country’s recovery once we finally find our way.*

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