Manila, Philippines. The commissioners of intellectual property offices around the world recently gathered at the 4th Annual Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Conference (HIPOC) in Manila. This is the first time the Philippines hosts the conference held in partnership with the European Patent Office (EPO). With this year’s theme, “Addressing IP Needs of the Future,” the conference addressed issues of office modernization and the progress of several Asian offices’ goal of self-autonomy.

Notable presentations included a discussion of the strategic renewal of patent offices by Dr. Manuel Desantes, Vice President of the EPO; predictions for the future of intellectual property rights (IPRs) by Director General of IP Philippines Adrian S. Cristobal; an overview of the origins and objectives of the Regional Patent Technical Cooperation (RPTC) Project by Niclas Morey, head of the Asia Unit at the EPO; and a presentation on the progress of self-autonomy of the Indonesian Intellectual Property Office by its director general, Dr. Andy Noorsaman Sommeng.

In the second session, IIPI consultant and former Vice President of the EPO, Dr. Jacques Michel spoke on the current capacity of the patent offices in the ASEAN countries to ensure valid patent rights and instigate investment. He followed up with recommendations on how to improve their different systems by harmonizing their administrations. This analysis was the result of a report Dr. Jacques Michel authored in conjunction with the Kenan Institute Asia and the Chulalongkom University, available on IIPI’s website.

For more information on this conference, please contact Magaly Clavijo via email at