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IPOPHL, PCCI honor socially-responsive Filipino intellectual property

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and the country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)  once again recognised Filipino inventors / IP creators on Thursday, conferring the Alfredo M. Yao (AMY) National Intellectual Property Awards, now on its 9th year.

True to the award’s goal to recognize socially relevant inventions by Filipinos, the AMY Awards this year were granted to three technologies responding to food sustainability, production of alternative fuels, and special needs solutions.

“This continuing partnership with the country’s largest business group, sustained now on its 9th year, is a testament to both government and industry’s unwavering support to Filipino ingenuity and innovation.  We hope these socially-responsive intellectual property may redound to those who will benefit from them the most - the general public,” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine R. Santiago, following the AMY National IP awarding ceremony, held as part of PCCI’s 44th Philippine Business Conference.

The Awards are spearheaded by the PCCI, who provides financial and organizational backing yearly for the awards, as well as serve as the main judges. The IPOPHL assists in the conduct of prior art search - or search to help determine an invention’s novelty - on the entries, as well as provision of the trophies since 2009.

Upon IPOPHL’s commissioning,  famed sculptor Eduardo Castrillo - the artist behind iconic, public monuments such as the EDSA Monument and the Pinaglabanan Shrine - designed the AMY National IP trophies.

This year, the AMY National IP Awards received a total of 52 entries across the Professional, Collegiate, Youth, and Special Awards categories.

In the Professional category, six inventions were short-listed from a batch of 30 submissions.  In the Collegiate category, five inventions were chosen from an initial pool of 16 entries. Of the five submissions in the Special Awards, three made it to the finals. The Youth category this year did not merit evaluation due to lack of formal requirements in the submitted entry.

A grand winner, per category, was selected from the group of finalists:

  • From the collegiate category, a post-harvest processing system for foxtail millet (an ‘alternative grain’ to rice) by a team of inventors led by John Renzap Barba of Bicol University  garnered the top prize;

  • In the professional level, the crude bio-ethanol distiller using rice husk as fuel, invented by a group led by Alexis Belonio and Manuel Regalado of PhilRice,  beat out five other finalists;and

  • in the Special awards, the inclusive innovation of entrepreneur/inventor Dante Olivar - a remote control for electronic devices geared for persons with arthritis and hand mobility problems -  bested others in the category. While the remote control caters towards this demographic, Mr. Olivar relays that the remote is equipped with learning technology, thus enabling it to mimic the signals of other appliances’ remote controls, and can become a household’s only remote control.

AMY IP Awards annually recognizes Filipino-owned IPR owners of patents, utility models, industrial designs (and trademarks) that have contributed or have the potential to contribute to economic growth and development.