THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) will be setting up a patent library in Cebu to make foreign technological information more accessible to Cebuano businesses and researchers.

According to IP Philippines deputy director general Andrew Michael Ong, patent libraries or Innovation and Technology Support Offices (Itso) are “knowledge centers” where people can go to access the latest science and technological information.

It will compile information disclosed by scientists and inventors in the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries through their patents.

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IP Philippines has chosen Cebu as the first model site for the project. “Cebu has a good track record where there is a close-knit relationship between the academe, private and public sector,” Ong said. He noted the presence of Cedf-it (Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology), which has helped in the improvement of the IT industry in the city.

Democratize system

According to the concept paper emailed to Sun. Star Cebu, IP Philippines said establishing an Itso network will strengthen local capacity to access patent information and make use of the patent system.

“This is in line with the mandate of IP Philippines and more specifically its 3D IP 2020 Vision as the Itso network will demystify and democratize the patent system and use it as a tool for national development,” the statement said.

Ong said the establishment of patent libraries will help local exporters especially in the gift, toys and houseware, fashion accessories and furniture industries become more competitive in the global market.

“This is helpful, especially that they are gearing towards competitiveness in the global market,” he said.

Itso will be established with multi-stakeholder involvement from inception to completion of project.

Institutions

Ong said IP Philippines has contacted different institutions like the academe, non-government agencies, local chambers, government agencies for the rollout of the project.

“In fact, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) has expressed interest in this project since they also have their materials library,” Ong said.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (Wipo), he added, will provide technical assistance while IP Philippines will manage the project in cooperation with other relevant government agencies.

“The only barrier seen for this project is the competency of the person in patent searching, given the difficulty of finding and sorting information from patents,” Ong said.

Wipo will be in Cebu on Aug. 19 to provide technical assistance in setting up Itso.