MANILA – The year 2020 ended with more Filipinos made better informed and educated about intellectual property (IP) as the IP Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) registered a record-high in attendees to its free learning workshops last year.
The volume of participants in its weekly LEAP (Learn, Be Empowered, Adopt, and Profit from IP) sessions in 2020 climbed 44 percent year-on-year to 1,696. This, despite three months of inactivity due to the lockdown beginning in March 2020.
The majority or 50.7 percent of last year’s participants were from the academe, with close to 70 percent from faculty while the remaining were students. The business sector trailed at 16.5 percent and government at 13.2 percent.
Attendees from law firms made up 11.5 percent while independent inventors, media, and other professionals cumulatively accounted for 8.2 percent.
“Economic uncertainties stemming from the pandemic last year may have motivated more people to manage and protect their IP assets,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba said.
“That the academe was the most drawn to learning IP shows the community’s continued interest to create and innovate amid what is being touted the worst crisis since the Great Depression. This is a positive indicator that signifies that the academe, an important wellspring for innovations, is preparing some innovative outputs which we hope could help us through this pandemic,” Barba added.
He said 2020 sessions were a mix of introductory and advanced lessons such as on enforcement, the Madrid Protocol, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and patent search and drafting — the last being exclusive to inventors and technology-developers who may be eligible to benefit from IPOPHL’s Inventor Assistance Program.
The IPOPHL chief added the conversion of the workshop to webinar format, dubbed iLEAP, also allowed greater accommodation of participants.
Based on IPOPHL data, an average of 242 participants per session attended, posting a 51-percent surge from previous-year levels.
With the invigorated interest in IP, Barba said IPOPHL will be creating a distance learning program that will allow the public to access iLeap webinars at their own time and pace.
“This is similar to what is offered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Participants who finish the program will be given certificates of completion. We will be offering introductory and advanced lessons, as well,” he added.
The distance learning program is targeted to be launched within the year and will run complementary to iLEAP webinars to increase the impact of IPOPHL’s awareness and education campaign as IP commercialization and other economic activities are in high demand to help reboot the economy. (PNA)