Inventors told: Get patents-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
WITH local universities and institutions hosting patent libraries, Intellectual Property Office-Philippines deputy director general Andrew Michael Ong hopes to see a surge of local inventors seeking to patent their creations.
Ong, who was in Cebu Thursday for the continued training of local Innovation and Technology Support Offices (Itso), lamented that the Philippines has no shortage of creative people and yet patent filings from local universities are few.
He acknowledged that it costs to file for a patent, with fees reaching P250,000 and the services of patent searches to determine a patented item’s novelty, about P30,000.
But with universities now hosting such libraries, Ong said they expect local inventors, including student and faculty researchers, will be encouraged to make use of these local patent libraries to save on costs.
Ong said the information that can be accessed through these patent libraries can provide “a wealth of knowledge” to researchers, not just in finding out if a product, design or knowledge discovery is new or has been done before. He noted that it saves a researcher time because they can find out how certain things were done by other researchers and improve on the knowledge.
He added that the information disclosed on patents can help solve many community problems and kinks in processes, products and services.
The IPO-PHL has adopted the social franchise system in providing the service to Itsos, with the institutions serving as franchisees. The government does not require them to pay royalties, but they must commit to provide office space, get the required Internet connections and maintain the facility by paying for the training and salaries of the staff running it.
In exchange, they are given access to the government’s subscriptions to the databases holding over 80 million documents, with an expected addition of one million patent documents added each year.
Teaching IP awareness
The Itso at the University of San Carlos, which is managed by Dr. Danilo Largo, asks for service fees less than P5,000 to conduct patent searching.
Largo, who showed a Sun.Star team around their facility, said that their staff members sign non-disclosure agreements to protect a client’s interests. He said they can search through 80 million documents all over the world, including those written in other languages.
They have been operating for a little over a year now on the fourth floor of the USC main campus on P. del Rosario St.
Aside from offering services to aid in the filing of patents, Largo hopes the presence of the facility in the university will lead to the integration of intellectual property in the curriculum, especially for those in science and technology.
Aside from USC, other Itso partners in Cebu are the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Department of Trade and Industry-Cebu, University of Cebu, University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of the Philippines and the Cebu Institute of Technology University.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2012.