THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said it signed a deal with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to draft plans for promoting intellectual property (IP) protection to investors in the special economic zones (SEZs).
In a statement, IPOPHL said that the memorandum of understanding it signed with PEZA will help ensure IP is respected especially in the innovative activities performed within SEZs.
“By underlining the importance of protecting and enforcing IP rights in these areas, current and potential companies and investors can do business in the Philippines knowing their IP assets are in safe hands,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.
Under the partnership, the two parties plan to incorporate IP into the investment promotion agency’s goals by training its officials and staff.
“(This MoU) can simplify our procedures to make it easy for our locators — those particularly applying for patents and trademarks. From our end, we would also look into inputs from our investors,” PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga said.
PEZA estimates actual direct exports from ecozones of $54.24 billion as of October. It added that locators directly employ 1.85 million workers.
In 2023, PEZA booked P175.71 billion worth of investments across 233 approved projects.
It currently oversees 422 economic zones hosting 4,352 locators.
According to IPOPHL, the Philippines remains an attractive investment destination since its exclusion from the European Commission’s IP watchlist in 2020 and the US Trade Representative’s Special 301 Report in 2013.
“We want to boost the confidence of foreign direct investors where PEZA is a key player. As such, our goal here is to assure investors that the Philippines is a suitable and secure destination with a strong IP system where investments are protected,” Mr. Barba said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile