The Philippines has a great deal of technological and entrepreneurial potential but currently lacks the infrastructure and expertise necessary to fully capture the value of its intellectual assets. In response, the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI), working with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has launched the “Innovations Opportunities” project to promote job creation and wealth in the Philippines by helping the country turn its science and technology research into patented, commercializable inventions through more effective technology transfer mechanisms.

Phase 1: Publication Review and Technology Transfer Guide

In 2010, IIPI partnered with USPTO, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), and Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors (PIIPA) to conduct an intellectual property review in an effort to identify issues with and potential solutions for extracting value from patentable research material. A team of experienced U.S. and international patent attorneys examined 1,000 articles coming out of nine Philippine research institutions published between 2000 and 2010 and found that 275 of the articles reviewed revealed patent potential. However, in all of these cases, researchers decided to publish their results without filing patent applications. The results of the review also showed that, although the research output of Philippine institutions has steadily increased, patent filing numbers by these institutions (both public and private) remain consistently low, suggesting further that institutional research is not adequately protected and leveraged.

Subsequent to this review, the IIPI team visited the Philippines to conduct seminars for and interviews with researchers and administrators in several of these institutions. Upon their return, the IIPI team drafted a guide to aid Philippine research organizations in establishing technology transfer offices (TTOs) that can effectively identify and monetize their patentable inventions. This guide provides goals, insights, best practices, and metrics for every step of the technology transfer process, including the establishment of a functioning TTO. It explains how to create and implement a comprehensive intellectual property policy, build a strong research base, and conduct a thorough analysis of the patentability and marketability of inventions. The guide also discusses the different types of intellectual property rights and licensing options, as well as how to market inventions, navigate commercial partnerships, and secure sponsorship for future research and development. Finally, the guide makes clear the economic and social benefits of an effective technology transfer system and highlights the responsibility of these research institutions to leverage their intellectual property in a way that serves the public good.

Phase 2: Technical Assistance

Currently, IIPI is partnering with USPTO and IPOPHL to provide additional training and assistance to several Philippine universities. The universities selected for the program are Bicol University (BU), De La Salle University (DLSU), the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST), the University of San Carlos (USC), the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), and the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST). IIPI has assembled a team of technology management and commercialization experts, which is working with the universities by: discussing methods of capturing value in research output with institutional and government representatives, explaining the benefits and logistics of patenting and intellectual property commercialization activities, assessing the specific needs of selected institutions to help craft individualized plans and training programs for implementing the guide and further operationalizing TTOs, and conducting training sessions and providing in-depth, on-the-ground assistance.

To receive additional information or to submit questions or comments, please email IIPI’s Manager and Legal Counsel Jenna Leventoff at

Image © 2011 Anna Loskutova