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Schools, Researchers Seek Patent Search Upskilling Amid Need for COVID innovations - IPOPHL

18-Aug-2020 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 1199
TAGUIG - Amid heightened demand for innovations that can curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and help societies cope better with the new normal, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has been engaged by a number of schools and research institutions requesting to be capacitated with a range of techniques that can help them use patent information to their advantage, according to the official website of IPOPHL.

IPOPHL recently ended a seven-day workshop for 50 post-graduate students, professors and researchers from different science departments of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman who have gained basic knowledge on patent searching. 

The Patent Information Search Online, wrapped up on August 14, is IPOPHL’s first conduct of the workshop since the country was declared in a state of emergency. Patent search workshops are a regular activity at IPOPHL, given that one of the mandates of its Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau (DITTB) is influencing researchers, scientists and inventors to implement patent search in their protocols to avoid repeat innovations and create innovations at a shorter period by building on previous research made available in patent application documents. 

“This workshop is an online certification course where IPOPHL teaches innovators the techniques of thoroughly dissecting patent documents to make sure innovators obtain the information they need. IPOPHL’s experts show participants how to construct patent search queries, select which patent database best suits their innovation, and make their own unique search strategies,” Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

Patent documents provide comprehensive information on the legal and technical aspects of technology that have been applied for a patent. They serve useful to innovators when they evaluate the level of uniqueness of their works. 

“Novelty is among the ultimate criteria to secure a patent grant. As such, searching through patent databases is a critical part of the early research and development (R&D) process as it helps innovators decide whether they have a fighting chance to secure a patent for their work or if they must enhance it or drop it altogether and move to a next project, saving innovators time, effort and financial resources from being wasted on non-fruitful endeavors,” DG Barba added.

COVID demands patent search upskilling

Now with the influx of challenges brought by the pandemic, the need for patent search capabilities among innovators is magnified, as shown from the number of training requests IPOPHL has been receiving.

”Upskilling patent search capabilities would help drive the technologies our society needs especially in these trying times. This workshop we are holding was actually a result of UP’s request for our assistance to train their researchers who are working on COVID innovations. Although they are already an Innovation and Technology Support Office partner who are regularly provided patent search and drafting skills, most of their staff are new hires and are still new to patent information searching,” DG Barba said. 

“For this year, we were supposed to provide the training only to state R&D institutions like the Philippine Textile Research Institute, which so happens to have ongoing research work related to COVID. But just recently, in addition to UP's request, the National Research Council of the Philippines and the Adamson University also signified their interest to train their researchers," DG Barba said, adding IPOPHL is still working out the schedules for the additional requests. 

DG Barba said the agency welcomes requests for workshops on basic patent search but these will be subject to scheduling as determined by the IP Search and Documentation Division of the DITTB.
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