The Philippines and the World Intellectual Property (WIPO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding last November 25 to jointly develop for the Philippines a national strategy for intellectual property (IP), which it can use to address its needs and priorities in line with existing development policies and economic goals.
WIPO is the primary international body tasked with helping formulate, implement and coordinate policies and procedures related to copyrights, trademarks, patents and other forms of intellectual property.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, WIPO will provide assistance in the form of assessment missions, research, and data collection and analysis, among other activities. IPOPHIL and WIPO will then develop a national IP strategy in consultation with stakeholders and as appropriate to the circumstances of the Philippines. These circumstances include, for example, its legal environment, market conditions, available organizational support and level of public awareness.
“There is a need for the Philippines to have a clear, comprehensive and coordinated approach in promoting and enhancing our capabilities in the field of science and technology, research and innovation. With a national strategy on intellectual property, we can further encourage schools, universities, research development institutes, inventors, creators and the business sector to avail of and utilize the benefits of the IP system,” said Atty. Josephine Santiago, Director-General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL).
Meanwhile, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry reaffirmed the commitment of WIPO in working closely with the Philippines, sharing his view that countries stood to significantly benefit from a cross-cutting national strategy focused on technology development.
Ambassador Cecilia Rebong, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) and other International Organizations in Geneva, welcomed the signing and emphasized that WIPO, like other UN agencies, was imbued with a mandate to help narrow global development gaps.
“This Memorandum of Understanding is an essential and concrete example of how the Philippines can ensure that its engagements in the global arena – now guided by the Sustainable Development Goals – are translated into specific projects and programs that advance our national interests,” she said.