The Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-TAPI) recorded a staggering, estimated Php 10 million savings in 2019 from its pro-bono, in-house patent drafting service. This is an add-on assistance extended by the institute to Filipino inventors who wish to avail its Intellectual Property Rights Assistance Program (iPRAP).
According to the 2019 Accomplishment Report of the Invention Development Division (IDD), the division that handles the intellectual property (IP) services of the agency, a total of 119 IPs were filed by DOST-TAPI’s in-house agents for the said year alone, which is 500 percent higher than in 2014. Also known as ‘pro bono’ patent drafting, this service is done voluntarily by DOST-TAPI’ resident patent agents without additional pay and on top of their regular functions. If availed through private patent firms, this service could cost an inventor for as high as Php 85,000.00 per IP application.
“Before, DOST-TAPI solely depended on the outsourced IP services. The pro-bono patent drafting services of DOST-TAPI’s in-house patent agents is the agency’s answer to the increasing demand of Filipino inventors requesting for IP assistance. This is also a part of capacity building of the Institute,” shared Ms. Anna Liza B. Saet, Program Manager of iPRAP.
Likewise, Ms. Saet said that DOST-TAPI’s in-housed patent agents also take regular skills upgrading courses through the World Intellectual Property Office’s distance learning platform and attend various trainings specifically on the prosecution of IP applications.
As of writing, DOST-TAPI has six resident patent agents, each with their own technical expertise as follows:
- Mr. Caezar Angelito E. Arceo, Supervising Science Research Specialist;
- Mr. Roberto R. Verzosa, Senior Science Research Specialist;
- Engr. Janeth C. Vidal, Senior Science Research Specialist;
- Mr. Esteve Ronnel H. Lopez, Senior Science Research Specialist;
- Ms. Anna Liza B. Saet, Science Research Specialist II;
- Engr. Theda Mae S. Dumali, Science Research Specialist II;
With the recently conducted “Capacity Building for DOST Employees on IP Rights” on September 30 to October 2, 2019, more DOST-TAPI staff were trained to do patent search and drafting. Hence, the Institute is expected to expand its pool with 20 newly trained staff.
As of 2019, Mr. Mr. Caezar Angelito E. Arceo remains to be the top performing patent agent with 216 filed IP applications, 93 of which had been granted. Mr. Arceo is a pro bono patent agent under the Inventor Assistance Program of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), one of a few Certified Patent Valuation Analyst in Southeast Asia, and one of the main authors of the DOST-TAPI’s Freedom-to-Operate (FTO) Manual.
Training its staff to be patent agents is one of DOST-TAPI’s initiatives to provide improved service to Filipino inventors. With the increasing number of IP requests every year and the limited number of IP firms in the country that could handle IP services, DOST-TAPI has to innovate from within by equipping its technical staff. With this initiative, the agency is able to hit two goals at the same time: providing professional development and saving precious government resources.
DOST TAPI in-house patent agents meet with DOST-RDIs representatives for an IP audit
DOST-TAPI S&T Media Service
NUR LEMUEL C. CASTILLO