IPOPHL details new digital services at high-level meeting with Asia Pacific counterparts

03 August 2020

IPOPHL details new digital services at high-level meeting with Asia Pacific counterparts
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Rowel S. Barba highlighted to counterparts in the Asia Pacific region the office’s successful roll-out of one digital solution to another in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The continuity of our operations and provision of services as we transitioned to the “new normal” was grounded on one very important element — the optimal use of technology to serve both our local and foreign stakeholders,” Barba said at the two-day annual Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Conference (HIPOC) which ended July 30, 2020.

Barba cited the deployment of tech solutions that now make possible an end-to-end electronic processing for IP registration, from online filing and payment until grant for trademarks, inventions, utility models, and industrial designs — an initiative that began as early as 2016.

Barba also trumpeted the new online systems for mediation; adjudication of IP cases at IPOPHL; filing of requests for commercial patent services; and deposit of copyrighted works.

“Fully cognizant that our role as an IP Office transcends our regulatory functions, IPOPHL took advantage of the use of ICT to reach more people, particularly for our awareness campaigns, and to collaborate with other government agencies in supporting the growth of e-commerce, especially micro, small, and medium enterprises, while ensuring that the online space is a safe and fair place for trade,” Barba said, citing the importance of such efforts amid the recorded surge of counterfeiting and piracy complaints in the country during the pandemic.
Barba also underlined the increased participation of the public in IPOPHL’s free IP learning and capacity building seminars that have been made online — from 15 to 20 participants in “Learn, Be Empowered, Adopt, and Profit from IP” (LEAP IP) seminars to 50 to 100 in iLeap webinars.

The offering of these seminars — iLeap IP for basic, IP Boost Camp for advanced IP discussions, and iLeap IP Forward for IP courses tailored for the benefit of specific courses. — will continue and will be improved in the months ahead, according to the IPOPHL chief.

Beyond operational improvements, Babra highlighted the contribution of IP innovators in the Philippine government’s efforts to fight the pandemic, particularly the immediate response of partner-Innovation and Technology Support Offices in developing personal protective gears and disinfectants at the height of supplies running thin. He also cited the guidance that IPOPHL, regional offices, and ITSOs have been providing to the Board of Investments in repurposing inventions.

“While the overcast hangs on the horizon, IPOPHL forges on armed with a renewed sense of purpose and relevance.
Inspired by our modest gains in serving efficiently amid the crisis, we will continue in our role as enablers to inventors, creators, artists, entrepreneurs, and industries,” Barba said.

He also thanked the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the organizer of the eHIPOC, for its unrelenting support to keep the country’s IP scene vibrant. The IPOPHL chief also expressed openness to explore areas of collaboration with Asia Pacific peers, especially on works that lead to more efficient delivery of digital services.

“At the international level, IPOPHL looks forward to working with WIPO, bilateral partners, and potential partners as we all collectively work in promoting the IP system to serve the needs of the present and the future. And hopefully, we transition not only into a new normal but a better normal instead,” Barba added.

Aside from the Philippines, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the e-HIPOC.

The meeting serves as a platform between IP office heads in the region and WIPO to identify areas of services that need enhancing in order for them to improve productivity and sustain efforts that serve the demands of their respective jurisdictions.

This year’s HIPOC, the first-ever conducted online, is themed "At Home with IP" in recognition of IP offices' transition to full or partial remote operations as part of the measures employed by many workplaces around the world to curb the spread of the virus.


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