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Invention patenting now easier for Mindanao inventors
The process of applying for patents for Mindanao inventors, researchers, innovators, students and businessmen is now made easier with the launch of the first Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) last Monday, August 6, the University of the South Eastern Philippines (USEP), Davao City.
The ITSO will serve primarily as a patent library, with access to over 80 million patents from patent libraries in Japan, US, Europe, and Canada. Here, patent applicants can do research on the patentability of their products.
The ITSO will also provide other services to aid patent applicants such as patent drafting, patent prosecution, aid in patent application to other countries, education and training in the process of patenting, copyrighting, and trademarking of products, logos, brands and designs.
This is the first ITSO to open in Mindanao and one of the first to open in a state university outside of Luzon, and was met with enthusiasm by the Davao Investors Association (DIA).
“Before, we had to go to Manila just to get our patents. It would cost us a small fortune; like buying a low-cost house. And what’s frustrating about it, aside from the cost, is that we had to file repeatedly because we always make some sort of mistake during the filing process,” said Manolo Tamporong of the DIA.
“We want to demystify the process of patenting, democratize it to allow any innovator regardless of social status to be able to patent their products, and finally we want to see that intellectual property rights is a tool for development because it encourages innovation,” affirmed IPOPhil Deputy Director General Atty. Andrew Michael Ong.
But Ong cautioned that maintaining a local ITSO won’t be easy: “Our partner institutions have to remember that ITSOs are a franchise. They have to be self-sustaining. We can provide (free) training, waive government fees for invention patents and resell them access but the institutions have to provide infrastructure and support. They need to provide manpower that we can train to be patent agents. They need to give us time (11 months) to train the staff. And we need to train the courts on patent law and prosecution. They have to think of the ITSO as an investment, not a quick fix.”
Nevertheless, ITSO Manager Engr. Romel V. Gador said that his team is more than up to the challenge: “We’ll be implementing an information, education, and communication campaign. We’ve organized forums and seminars with other schools and business here in the city so they’ll be aware of our services. USEP is also slowly making changes in its curriculum to make students aware of what patenting is and to encourage the students, the different researchers, and the different departments to take advantage of our services,” he said.
The ITSO is a collaborative effort of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPhil), the Department of Science and Technology – Region IX (DOST XI), the DOST- Technology Application & Promotion Institute, and the USEP.
Other ITOS as expected to open in the near future, as Mindanao University of Science and Technology and the Mindanao State University are currently working on establishing their own franchises. — TJD, GMA News
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