Innovation & Technology Support Office
Owing to the fact that patent searching entails a unique set of skills that can only be mastered through time, patent libraries generally have dedicated technical staff and have chosen to locate in local libraries, universities and research institutes, technology and business incubators, science park as well as offices of industry associations, chambers of commerce and non‐government organizations to be close to a ready pool of science and technical experts or near patent information users.
The progressive economies of the world are able to capitalize on the patent system in two ways. First, their scientists, researchers and R & D practitioners in the academe and industries are able to access latest scientific and technological information from the world patent databases and use the same to generate new knowledge which are eventually developed into new and innovative products and services. Secondly, they are able to seek patent protection for the new knowledge, products and services. In many other ways, the patent system has come to play an indispensable role in their economic development.
However, in developing countries, this is not the case. In the Philippines for example, scientists and researchers are generally unaware of the rich source of information found in the world patent databases. They also do not have the necessary skills to conduct patent search and understand patent documents. As such, their researches are frequently done without the benefit of knowing prior existing inventions or related scientific findings in patent documents. Likewise, industries rarely seek competitive and technological information from patent databases.Very few businessmen realize that the majority of the foreign inventions found in the database are not patented in the Philippines, thus, a lot of technologies are actually free for use and exploitation even in commercial scale within the country.
Clearly, there is a great need to educate Philippine scientists, researchers and businessmen on how to benefit from the patent system, and for patent information to be made accessible to more people. They should acquire the skill to search for relevant patents and comprehend patent documents. They should also be taught how to ascertain which technologies can be used for free and which would need to be licensed. And, in the latter case, how to obtain the license and from whom. Consequently, this will enable the academe and research institutions to build upon latest technological breakthroughs and not repeat what has already been invented elsewhere. On the other hand, when more people know how to access patent information, industries will also be encouraged to produce innovative products and services using readily available (and most often, free) technologies.
To date, there are close to 82 million patent documents scattered in different patent databases of different countries with some countries having documents only in their national languages or with only abstracts of the patents written in English. Further, patent documents are generally written in “patentese” language requiring a working knowledge on the specific technical field as well as knowledge on patent drafting and prosecution. Given the volume and configuration of patent documents and the difficulty of finding and sorting information from patents, national patent offices in Europe and the United States have long resorted to establishing specialized patent libraries in local communities to help the targeted user groups obtain patent information and acquire the competency in patent searching. These libraries have also evolved through time to become a nationwide network of one‐stop‐IP service‐shops – such as the 328 “PATLIB” centers found all over European Union member states and the “PTDL” centers in the different states of US which started as early as 1871.
Owing to the fact that patent searching entails a unique set of skills that can only be mastered through time, patent libraries generally have dedicated technical staff and have chosen to locate in local libraries, universities and research institutes, technology and business incubators, science park as well as offices of industry associations, chambers of commerce and non‐government organizations to be close to a ready pool of science and technical experts or near patent information users. This is to ensure constant high demand and supply of patent service providers and beneficiaries. For the more sophisticated patent libraries, they have also subscribed to proprietary computer “search‐engine” platforms that aids patent searching as these platforms have consolidated, reconfigured and translated to English the information found in the patent databases.
Greetings of peace!
By virtue of the Batas Pambansa Bilang 12 in 1978, the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), a state university in Region XI, was created. More than three decades later, the Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) was established forged through the USeP Board Resolution No. 4115, series 2011. Since then, the ITSO has become an organic part of the University.
The ITSO is an intellectual property (IP) office of the University and a franchise to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). After the battery of trainings and system were downloaded to the USeP ITSO, the said IP Office of the University now offers patent search services and skills training, patent clinic advisory & agency, patenting services & skills training, IP management, and patent documentation to the community and stakeholders.
From the time when the ITSO was founded, this IP Office has made some significant strides for the sustainable development of the USeP. The 1978 USeP logo is now registered as a trademark in 2013. The University has saved resources in the prosecution of the 56 patent applications as the USeP now has two registered patent agents conducted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2012. One notable achievement of the ITSO was when it has bagged the recognition given by the IPOPHL as the top patent filer in the country in 2014. For the moment, an appreciable amount was earned by the University through the assistance it provides to external clients. It has also been doing extensive information, education, & communication (IEC) campaign to the potential end-users, other SUCs and private institutions in the Region and other parts of the country.
Attuned to the vision and mission of the USeP, the ITSO intends to be more relevant to the community and stakeholders. The Innovation and Technology Support Office, in partnership with the IPOPHL and the DOST, has been robustly implementing its agreed and expected outputs – to increase the number of technologies patented, the number of research outputs IP-protected of the USeP and to possibly commercialize incubated technologies through the adoption of the tenets of technological Research and Development (R&D) and innovations.
Numerous global literatures and practices of the leading economies have strongly emphasized the gargantuan and significant role of innovation in sustaining development. The ITSO is expected to work closely with the newly institutionalized Technology Transfer Office (TTO) in the University for the incubation and commercialization of generated and IP-protected technologies. To sustain the relevance, significance and long-term health of the University in the country and the ASEAN Region, the ITSO needs to further rev up and fast track its innovation programs.
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO PHILS) was created by Republic Act 8293, known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, to manage and administer the intellectual property (IP) system of the country and implement the State policy that – “…an effective intellectual property system is vital to the development of domestic and creative activity, facilitates transfer of technology, attracts foreign investments, and ensures market access for our products. (Thus, the State) shall protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientist, inventors, artist and gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creations, particularly when beneficial to the people, for such periods as provided in this Act. “The organizational mission of IPO PHILS is to be “a knowledge–driven government organization that works towards economic, technological and sociocultural development by communicating, enabling and ensuring the effective use of the IP system in all levels of society for the creation, protection, utilization and enforcement of IP.” And IPO PHILS envisions “an Intellectual Property Conscious Philippines in a demystified, development – oriented and democratized IP System by 2020.”
In line with the foregoing strategic intent, IPO PHILS proposes to establish a network of Innovation & Technology Support Offices (patent libraries) in areas and institutions with high potential for patent activity, such as usage of patent information, filing of patents & commercialization of patented inventions. This shall be the institutional mechanism to demystify and democratize the patent system so that it can be an effective tool to propel technological development.
A demystified patent system is evidenced by the fact that majority of the knowledge generators, researchers and R&D proponents in the country know how to access global scientific and technology information through the patent database, and when they wish to protect their innovations, they will know how to obtain patents.
A democratized patent system means that patent is an inter‐disciplinary concern, involving businessmen, researchers, engineers, scientists, faculty, students, government, lawyers and other professions, who will know about and use the patent information, engage in patenting activities and participate in technology commercialization.
A development-oriented patent system implies that the patent system is fashioned as an effective tool to bring progress and prosperity, purposely tailored‐fit to the particular needs and interests of, and readily accessible, by those who want to use patent information and obtain patents.
ITSO NETWORK VISION STATEMENT
“A network of innovation and technology support offices covering and serving all regions of the Philippines, enabling and supporting increased innovation in the Philippines, protection of Philippine innovation worldwide through patents, and utilization and commercialization of Philippine patented innovation worldwide, thereby working innovation and IP into the social and economic life of the Philippines.”
ITSO NETWORK MISSION STATEMENT
“The ITSO network is committed to providing affordable quality patent information and IP services to universities, research institutions, businesses and inventors throughout all regions of the Philippines, to support research and development which will have a positive social, economic, technological and environmental impact on the Philippines.”
Each individual ITSO may also develop its own customized Vision and Mission Statements in line with its own host institution’s vision and mission. The following can be used as a template:
Model Vision Statement for individual ITSO that may be customized as needed:
An innovation and technology support office serving our host institution and local community, enabling and supporting increased innovation in our host institution and community, protection of our innovation worldwide through patents, and utilization and commercialization of patented innovation worldwide for the benefit of our host institution, local community and the Philippines.
Model Mission Statement for individual ITSO that may be customized as needed:
The ITSO is committed to providing affordable quality patent information and IP services to our host institution, our local community and the Philippines, to support research and development which will have a positive social, economic, technological and environmental impact on our community and the Philippines. It is our goal to meet our users’ expectations for quality and service, while paying close attention to each user’s individual needs.
The overall objective of establishing an ITSO network within the USeP is to strengthen local institutional capacity to access patent information and use the patent system. This is in line with the mandate of IPO PHILS and more specifically, its 3D IP 2020 VISION as the ITSO network will demystify and democratize the patent system, and use it as tool for national development.
Demystifying the patent system. Through the ITSO network, IPO PHILS will build the institutional capacity of universities, R&D entities, government field offices, industry service providers, consultants and associations to teach and conduct, on their own, patent searches, patent drafting and provide assistance in patent prosecution. Initially, IPO PHILS & WIPO will provide skills training to ITSO staff and constituents while the host entities can provide a steady steam of demand for patent information and patent filing so that those trained can master their skills through constant practice. With the cooperation of different patent professionals, IP PHILS will also assist ITSO in delivering its services in the first few years. However, eventually, the ITSO will conduct its own training to continue spreading patent searching and drafting skills to the community, and it will serve the community by conducting patent search, drafting patents and assisting patent applicants.
Democratizing the patent system. With the presence of ITSO in the local institutions, not only will science and technological knowledge from the patent databases become more readily accessible but it is also expected that there will be an increase in the number of proficient patent searchers, drafters and practitioners in the locality. Eventually, a growing community of patent information users and patent drafters can be organized by IPO PHILS for the purpose of engaging a broad‐based dialogue and continuing discussion on how to improve the patent system in the country and other issues.
Development-orient patent system. The ITSO serves as the institutional link between IPO PHILS and aggregations of potential patent system users. Thus, ITSO brings IPO PHILS closer to the public and beneficiaries of the patent system. Further, in choosing the host entities for ITSO to be located, IPO PHILS can effectively target particular sectors or industries whose work or business will be greatly benefited by patent information and patent protection.
More specifically, the ITSO supports the development of more IP creation, facilitate IP protection and promote IP utilization by performing the following functions:
In Support of IP creation by facilitating access to global science & technology information:
- Serve as a patent search facility and library for patent information;
- Provide skills training in patent searching;
- Render patent search services; and
- Organize a community of patent information users.
In Support of IP protection by promoting domestic and globally recognized innovations:
- Provide general information on patents and patenting;
- Provide skills training in patent drafting and prosecution;
- Render patent drafting and prosecution services; and
- Organize a community of experts to participate in patent examination.
In Support of IP utilization by assisting the commercialization of globally competitive innovations:
- Render IP audit and evaluation services;
- Provide licensing support;
- Provide advice on IP management & commercialization strategies; and
- Be a depositary of patent‐related documents, papers and statistics.
The ITSO will function as:
Iñigo St. Bo. Obrero, Davao City 8000