Manila, Philippines – IIPI, in conjunction with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO) and support from the U.S. Embassy in Manila, conducted a series of workshops aimed at improving the environment for creating a knowledge-based economy in this country. Over the week of June 17, 2002, three workshops helped nearly 150 business leaders, policy makers, IP administrators, judges and judicial administrators better understand the elements necessary to promote and protect innovation and creativity in the Philippines by stimulating a knowledge-based economy.

At a reception in his residence, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines and Palau Francis, J. Ricciardone, Jr. commented “a nation’s knowledge assets and intellectual capital are of fundamental importance in the global economy and the digital age. For economies to thrive, the intellectual capital of its citizens must be stimulated and efficiently exploited. Having a sound economic policy increasingly means that there must be incentives and structures in place to promote the creativity of citizens and their intellectual, scientific and artistic endeavors. This means proactive legislation, strong institutions such as IPO and other organizations, effective enforcement operations and consistent, transparent and efficient judicial remedies.”

Judicial Workshop

The Honorable Josue Bellosillo, Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, welcomed more than 30 judges and judicial administrators to this workshop by describing the current legal environment for intellectual property rights and remarked about the challenges ahead. Additional speakers included Michael Shapiro, attorney/advisor at the US PTO and the Honorable Randall Rader of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who discussed the enforcement requirements in the context of the TRIPS agreement and U.S. views on intellectual property cases, respectively. The workshop also featured the Honorable Ronald Evans Quidachay, Presiding Judge of the San Francisco Superior Court, State of California, on the importance of independence and effective case management.

“What we found is that while the judicial and enforcement bodies here are facing many challenges, they are committed to addressing them,” said Professor Michael P. Ryan of Georgetown University, one of IIPI’s team members. “This workshop is the first in what we hope will be a long engagement with judges and judicial administrators in the Philippines.”

For the Judicial workshop agenda, click here.

Government Workshop

More than 60 government policymakers and administrators with responsibility for intellectual property, trade, economics, science and technology and cultural policy participated in this three day event sponsored by IIPI and hosted by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines.

Topics discussed included the dynamics of a knowledge-based economy, IP law, policy and treaty diplomacy, strategies for IP offices in a global economy, relationships with multi-lateral institutions, public administration strategies, information technology capabilities, and the economics of cultural and informational products. Local attorney Ferdinand Negre joined Judge Rany Simms of the US PTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) along with presenters from IIPI.

May M. Araneto, Secretary, Committee on Trade Industry, House of Representatives, addressed the audience about proposed legislation to address optical media piracy, noting its importance for local industries. “In the movie industry,” she noted, “piracy is one of the major problems that have contributed to its downsizing. Fewer movies mean lesser jobs of production assistants, stuntmen, and the unrecognized entertainment workforce.”

For the Government Training Workshop agenda, click here.

Law, Business and Policy Workshop

More than 45 entrepreneurs and business leaders gathered to discuss the challenges of growing a knowledge economy in the Philippines. The speakers, which included professors from Towson and Georgetown Universities, US PTO advisors, and local experts, talked about how expanding the country’s knowledge economy can inspire job and wealth creation, make human capital improvements, increase tax revenue and broaden the country’s industrial base. Emma C. Francisco, Director General of the IPO began the event with opening remarks.

“It was encouraging to see so many local business leaders engaged in spirited discussions with government officials,” said Professor Douglas Sanford, an expert in international business and part of IIPI’s team. “There is a strengthening consensus that the fight for intellectual property rights is everyone’s fight, and real progress is being made. There is certainly more to be done, but the days of tolerating infringers are numbered.”

For the Law, Business and Policy Workshop agenda, click here.

Moving Forward with IP in the Philippines

The three workshops, which ran in Manila from Monday, June 17 though June 20, 2002, were among the first programs sponsored by IIPI in the Philippines. This series is part of the Institute’s on-going work to improve the capacity of judicial bodies to handle intellectual property cases. The three-tiered workshop series was designed by IIPI in conjunction with the US PTO to effectively address the three distinct groups responsible for driving intellectual property structure and enforcement in an emerging market.