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IP Field Operations Unit

BACKGROUNDER

• The Intellectual Property Field Operations Unit (IPFOU) was created under the Office of the Director General through Office Order No. 72 dated June 2, 2008.

• The IP Field Operations Program of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) was borne out of an underlying policy of promoting IP as a tool for national development, promoting inclusive growth and facilitating vibrant business activities in the countryside using IP as a competitive business tool.

• The IP Field Operations Program of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines or the IPSO (IP Satellite Office) program was made public with the launching of its first IPSO site in Cebu City in November 2008. Following the Cebu launch, in the same month, IPSO Davao was opened.

• To date, IPOPHL has established 10 IPSOs in key cities like Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Pampanga, Legazpi, General Santos, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Tuguegarao, Tacloban and the head office in the NCR.

• The IPSOs in the key cities are stationed at the DTI regional offices.

• The primary objectives of the IPSO program are as follows:

- Promote/Increase consciousness of IP stakeholders in the regions and provinces on the importance and commercial benefits of intellectual property to businesses and encourage commercialization of intellectual creations for national development

- Create opportunities for IP generators to secure protection of their creation by using the IP system, generate more IP filings, commercialize IP products, promote transfer of technology and thus, stimulate economic activities in the countryside

- Educate stakeholders on IP asset management and commercialization

- Strengthen competencies of institutional partners (local business and MSME groups, inventors’ group, industry sector groups and associations, etc.)

• The IPSOs are IPOPHL’s primary marketing arm in the countryside. They implement IPOPHL programs and projects which promote the effective utilization of the IP system in the regions and provinces. The IPSOs are instrumental in delivering IPOPHL’s services to its stakeholder in the regions as well as in fostering a culture of innovation and creativity.

• Thru the IPSOs, IPOPHL has strengthened its presence in the regions. Over the years, IP filings from the different regions have steadily increased: a clear indication of the increase in understanding and appreciation, and increased participation of IP users and generators in the countryside.

• Currently, each IPSO is operated by an Area Manager (AM) and an IP Field Operations Specialist (FOS). They are responsible for carrying out IPOPHL’s services and programs in the regions. Specifically, the AMs manages the IPSO and the FOS are tasked to:

- Provide technical and advisory services to the IP users and generators in the regions;

- Assist clients in the completion and filing of IP applications (TM, patents, copyright deposits);

- Receive IP applications;

- Assist IPOPHL in its awareness, education and information campaigns, thru the conduct of basic IP orientation seminars and IP cliniquing/one-on-one consultations sessions; maintaining IPSO presence in the social network

- Assist IPOPHL in the implementation of projects to promote the effective utilization of the IP system by the local IP stakeholders (e.g., support to ITSOs, facilitating capability building for Negosyo Center and DTI business counsellors, etc., implementing Juana Make A Mark, etc.)

- Explore and build cooperation and partnership opportunities with various industry/business sectors and local government agencies to enhance IP-related services

• Over the years, the IPSO observed annual increase in the number of requests for the conduct of seminars and trainings (e.g., the number of awareness, education and information (AEIs) activities of IPFOU considerably increased from 80 in 2015 to 225 in 2016.) The increase is a clear indication of IPFOU’s constant intensified efforts to encourage the utilization of the IP system.

• By virtue of an MOU which enhanced the partnership of DTI and IPOPHL, the DTI, as part of its organizational and operational support to IPOPHL,

- Continues to support and assist IPOPHL by providing work spaces and office facilities of the IPSOs in the regions

- Implements programs and projects that mainstream IP in the array of services it provides to its clients and stakeholders in the regions. DTI has incorporated IP components into its existing and planned projects and activities. (e.g. DTI trainings on product labelling and food safety, “Mentor Me”, Roving Academy, NKATBP etc. have IP courses in the program)

- Supports IPOPHL’s initiatives which foster respect for and promote effective enforcement of intellectual property rights

• The Go Negosyo Law (RA 10644) mandates the creation of Negosyo Centers (NCs) which are convergence points for the DTI, local government units and the private sector to promote ease of doing business, and ensure access to services for MSMEs within its jurisdiction. To date, DTI has established 447 NCs.

• In 2016, IPFOU embarked on a project to mainstream IP in the basket of services for MSMEs in the NCs. IPFOU conducted capability building seminars and workshops for the NC and DTI front liners and business coordinators and IP advocates in the regions and provinces to enhance their capacity in the delivery of IP services.

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