The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) recently met with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to propose new capacity building and knowledge sharing activities to pursue under the new leadership at the EUIPO and through their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) poised for renewal in 2024.
In a discussion last October 27 at the EUIPO’s headquarters in Spain, IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba and the EUIPO Executive Director João Negrão, who just took office last October 1, have agreed to renew the bilateral partnership of the offices once the MOU expires next year.
“IPOPHL considers EUIPO as one of the Office’s most valued partners. While the MOU still remains effective, IPOPHL is already expressing its interest to renew our bilateral agreement and would like to explore new areas of cooperation, this time, under the leadership of Executive Director Negrão,” Barba said.
Barba cited the metaverse, AI and cybersecurity as some of the areas which the EUIPO can assist IPOPHL with once both parties renew their MOU.
“The metaverse is a relatively new area which has been fast expanding. Optimizing AI tools, meanwhile, would put our process to greater speed. And helping more rights holders build a strategy against cyberattacks will help them protect their intellectual property (IP) assets. To better cope with our fast advancing technological landscape, IPOPHL hopes for the EUIPO’s assistance in capacitating our staff and helping Philippine businesses and entrepreneurs,” Barba said.
Other proposed new areas of collaborative work would aim to estimate the contribution of IP-based industries to the economy and focus on industrial design, particularly in building IPOPHL’s skills to use IT tools for search and examination of IDs, sharing best practices in operationalizing the Hague Agreement — the international filing treaty for IDs which the Philippines is working to accede to by next year — and IP awareness strategies of EUIPO on emerging designs.
Signed in 2020 to reinforce the bilateral cooperation of IPOPHL and EUIPO, the MOU covers activities on capacity building, training and exchange of information on best practices on IP administration, examination, IP tools, IP economics, enforcement-related activities and IP education and research.
The MOU was able to implement several projects under the work plan such as the implementation of a Harmonized Database in the Philippines; a webinar on emerging designs held in 2022; the crafting of trademark examination guidelines; and the secondment of Atty. Luwin Dela Concha, former head at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Services of IPOPHL’s Bureau of Legal Affairs, to EUIPO to conduct training on alternative dispute resolution.