President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Proclamation No. 190 on April 4, 2017, declaring the month of April every year as National Intellectual Property (IP) Month. The Proclamation was made to align the country’s programs and activities to the scale of global IP celebrations.

The National Intellectual Property Month coincides with worldwide IP events, such as the World Book and Copyright Day on April 23 and the World Intellectual Property Day on April 26. With the signing of the Proclamation, the nation will have a longer observance of intellectual property rights (IPR) celebrations compared to the week-long IPR celebrations in October under Proclamation No. 79, series of 1992.

The events and activities lined-up this IP Month will underline the provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution mandating the State to “protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists and other gifted citizens to their IP and creations, particularly when beneficial to the people.”

Director General Josephine Santiago, head of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), hailed the Proclamation as a milestone in the history of IP in the country, which recognizes the importance of IP in the country.

“As the lead government agency on IP, IPOPHL has lined-up a series of activities for the public and private stakeholders to emphasize the role of IP in economic development. IP is, after all, a tool that can be used to improve the lives of Filipinos. We thank President Duterte for his support in institutionalizing April as our country’s IP month”, Santiago said.

The IP Month celebrations started on April 6 with the Roundtable Discussion on Issues and Concerns on IPR Enforcement for judges from the Special Commercial Courts of the National Capital Judicial Region. The event was organized in partnership with the Philippine Judicial Academy. During the World IP Day on April 26, IPOPHL will launch additional e-filing tools that will make it easier for filers to submit patent applications and other trademark documents online.

IPOPHL will also join the National Book Development Board in celebrating the World Book and Copyright Day on April 23 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, where a myriad of book publishers will display their publications. The World Intellectual Property Organization will conduct seminars on collective management organizations slated on April 24 and 25 and a Seminar Workshop on how musical talents can make a living from their music, on April 27 and 28 at the University of the Philippines BGC Campus.