An international inventor assistance program is giving Filipino inventors access to free legal advice on international patents (IP) that protects every invention across the globe.
In a statement, Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. lauded the decision of the World
Economic Forum (WEF) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to include the Philippines as one of the pilot countries under a joint initiative—the Inventor Assistance Program (IAP).
Cristobal has met with WIPO officials, including Deputy Director General John Sandage, to discuss the mechanics of IAP, whose membership is open to developing countries and patent attorneys who accept the guiding principles of the program.
“I recall as early as 2005, during my term as Director General of IPOPHL [Intellectual
Property Office of the Philippines], we already saw the importance of making IP relevant to the economic well being of the country. These programs will encourage Filipino inventors to bring their technologies to the world,” Cristobal said.
Sandage said the IAP will provide free legal advice from patent attorneys to inventors from member countries to protect their inventions. He said the legal advice will help lessen the cost of filing patent applications.
The IAP was launched by WEF and WIPO in Colombia last year. It aims to make the IP system more accessible to cash-strapped inventors of technologies and concepts that show much potential.
The WIPO deputy director said the IAP will help inventors or small companies by linking them to patent attorneys.
Governments that are have become IAP members are expected to actively participate in the local implementation and creation of an IAP program that meets the local needs and practice of inventors and qualified IP counsel in their respective countries, as well as help in the domestic promotion of the IAP.
Sandage said the Philippines is among the first three countries that qualified to be a member of IAP. The two other member countries are Colombia and Morocco.
Cristobal said the government has been coping well with the changes in the Philippine IP system in the last 15 years.
“From a purely regulatory agency, it has evolved into one that espouses an orientation that capitalizes on the development aspects of IP,” he said.
WIPO has long been the country’s partner in the country’s aim to make its IP on a par with global standards, he added.