Through Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) was created. It is the Philippines’ lead agency in implementing state policies on Intellectual Property (IP).
It is headed by a Director General and is composed of seven bureaus:
1. Bureau of Patents (BOP)
Processes the registration, examination and granting of patent applications, utility models, industrial designs, and integrated circuits
2. Bureau of Trademarks
Conducts the search, examination, and granting of the applications for the registration of marks, geographic indications and other marks of ownership
3. Bureau of Legal Affairs
Handles all legal matters concerning Intellectual Property Rights
4. Documentation, Information, and Technology Transfer Bureau
Provides technical support services to the other bureaus and takes charge of Intellectual Property promotion activities and knowledge management in the country
5. Management Information Service
In charge of maintaining IPOPHL’s information technology systems
6. Financial Management and Administrative Service
Ensures the proper utilization of IPOPHL funds
7. Bureau of Copyright [currently ad hoc]
The newest addition to the IPOPHL family promotes awareness of IP rights and the accreditation of collective management organizations (CMOs)
Aside from the registration of patents, trademarks, and copyright, IPOPHL also offers patent information searches, dispute resolution, adjudication of Inter Partes cases and IP violations, technology transfer, and training.
In an effort to expand the reach of IPOPHL, Intellectual Property Satellite Offices (IPSOs) in Cebu and Davao were established in 2008. After this initiative to make IP services more accessible and to ease the implementation of projects in the said regions, there was an increase in IP filings seen in both areas. Soon after, offices in Baguio City, Angeles City, Legaspi City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, and General Santos City were set up as a result of two pilot IPSOs’ success.
In 2012, the Innovation Technology Support Office (ITSO) network was established to push for the commercialization of technologies generated from the research outputs of local universities, research institutions, businesses, and inventors. There are currently over 80 certified ITSOs spread throughout the archipelago.
More recently, IP Depot –the Philippines’ first online IP marketplace was launched. Owners of registered IP assets can use the website as a free showground while other users can easily shop for IPs, including the latest and available technology for their businesses.
The IPOPHL logo features a letter “O” in the shape of a light bulb, the universal symbol of a good idea. Inside the light bulb is the word “una” which means first, as written in Baybayin, an ancient pre-colonial Philippine writing system used from the 16th to 19th centuries. At IPOPHL, premium is given to being first, as “first in time results in seniority of rights” whether in the registration of a patent, trademark, copyright or other related rights.