Gov’t inks IP co-op deals with UN unit, US office
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has forged cooperation deals with a United Nations agency and the patent offices of the United States and Europe to further enhance and develop existing patent systems in the country.
The IPOPHL said it had signed in Geneva last week separate agreements with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
It said the agreement with Unctad established a longer-term cooperation between the two parties in the field of IP and development. It also allows the Philippines to benefit from the UN agency’s advisory services and capacity building activities on cross-cutting IP and development issues.
Unctad has been providing technical assistance in the form of ad hoc advisory services and capacity building activities to the Philippines in various subject areas related to IP and development since 2013.
Among the IP and development issues addressed are access to knowledge and medicine. Also, the link between IP and development becomes crucial in other related and important areas such as food security, geographical indications and traditional knowledge, and climate change.
Cooperation activities between IPOPHL and Unctad, which are covered in the agreement, include the planning, organization and delivery of capacity building activities in selected cross-cutting IP and development issues; the provision of comments to selected draft legislation and regulations; the planning and organization of, and participation in, consultations based on the comments to selected draft legislation and regulations; the preparation of advisory reports on selected and jointly decided cross-cutting IP and development issues; and the participation of the Philippines in relevant conferences.
“With this new agreement, we are building on our mandate to align our IP policies with our interests as a developing economy and with our bid to achieve inclusive growth and development. We are fully aware that our IP policies need to be crafted with a public policy perspective and that cross-cutting IP and development issues are important issues that we need to address,” IPOPHL deputy director general Allan Gepty said in a statement.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the EPO, meanwhile, involves assistance in the development and expansion of the patent systems in the Philippines and Europe.
The EPO is an intergovernment organization of 38 member states which offers uniform patent application procedure. It also grants European patents.
According to IPOPHL, the areas of cooperation covered in the MOU include patent examination and administration procedures; human resource development; automation; patent databases and data exchange; and other common cooperation measures such as holding of regional events and sharing of consultants during expert missions.