16 December 2020 via Recorded Message

Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.

With today’s launch of the 2020 Revised Rules, we laud our good friend Director-General Rowel Barba and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), the Supreme Court, and the Judiciary for safeguarding our country’s Intellectual Property Rights.

The Revised Rules signal a whole-of-government advocacy in empowering our people to contribute to our country’s national and socioeconomic progress through the development of their Intellectual Properties (IPs).

Thus, we are confident that these Revised Rules will aid our industries, inventors, artists, designers, creators, as well as our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to maximize the benefits of their IP rights. What’s more, the Revised Rules will foster a legal atmosphere that will spur creative activity and innovation, technology transfer, and foreign investment.

Our country is already working towards creating a proper enabling environment that would help promote greater innovation and creativity. In the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020, the Philippines rose to 50th out of 131 countries from 54th in 2019, the first time that we’ve reached the top 50. Moreover, the GII recognizes the country as an innovation achiever for the second year in a row. From 2014, we were just in the 100s and now we are at 50th rank.

We would also like to point out that the recently-signed mega-trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, has a chapter on IP that will push the Philippines to become an innovation hub for the region.

With IP as a catalyst for our country’s growth, we believe that the Judiciary’s activities on IP rights will enhance the government’s efforts to accelerate our economic recovery. This is important, given that many businesses—especially our MSMEs—have been significantly affected by the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has already accelerated many technological trends and digital shifts in the country. As we gradually open our economy, new forms of businesses have started with e-commerce taking a front row. In fact, online businesses registered leapfrogged from 1,700 in March to around 86,000 by December, a clear indication of the adaptability of Filipinos in challenging times.

As such, we need to encourage the conversion of more Filipino ideas into commercial assets so that local innovation projects can become sustainable and steady sources of livelihood.

We need to make entrepreneurs and MSMEs realize that their IP assets are the main source of their innovation, for higher value adding and inthe end could make a HUGE difference in their company VALUATION.  AS THEY SAY, this is what separates the men from the boys.

A company’s innovation and growth, in turn, can potentially become massive generators of higher-income jobs.

To boost support for MSMEs, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) partnered with IPOPHL to assist our entrepreneurs in developing their IP strategies.

Among these programs are the Juana Make a Mark Program, which waives trademark application fees for MSMEs founded by a woman or a group with at least one woman as a member.

There is also the Inventor Assistance Program, which provides free legal advice on patent applications and free basic seminars on patent search and drafting.

Meanwhile, the IP Depot is an online marketplace where MSMEs can market their IP-protected products for free. We are likewise conducting free basic IP lessons for MSMEs, which have been made available online in the wake of the pandemic.

Lastly, DTI is working with IPOPHL to protect our resilient Filipino entrepreneurs and their “laban lang” spirit by ensuring Fair Trade through the confiscation and destruction of pirated and counterfeit products. This will also bolster consumer confidence as our people favor local products and services that are more competitive and innovative. 

To close, DTI thanks Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta and the Supreme Court for providing guidance and leadership on the Intellectual Property Law. We are also grateful to the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) for working with the judges in expediting the disposition of IP cases.

To the members of the Sub-Committee for the Revision of IP Rules, as well as the Technical Working Group (TWG), we thank you for your hard work, invaluable insights, and expertise. We would also like to commend IPOPHL’s effective IP enforcement team as they continue to work with the National Committee on IP Rights (NCIPR).

And lastly, many thanks to the IP community and the stakeholders—DTI and IPOPHL look forward to a better and safer 2021 with all of you.

We urge everyone here to continue assisting our innovators and entrepreneurs to register and protect their IP rights. As our MSMEs grow and become successful through their innovations, they will generate more jobs and employment for our countrymen. This is the real goal of all our efforts: so that our people can have a better and more comfortable quality of life as promised by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat.

Date of Release: 16 December 2020