Filipinos are inherently rich with new ideas or creations but these are usually dismissed, postponed, or neglected due to multiple varying reasons. Later on, they found out that others who had the same idea, took it to the market before they did. Thus making it a little too late for them to capitalize on the same idea.
Protecting your ideas can be a meticulous process that may include lots of paperworks and multiple stages of bureaucratic processes, which is more often than not, expensive. On top of these, you will need to go from one office to the next several times just to complete a single application. But what if there is a way for every inventor to protect their ideas and get updates on their applications at their fingertips?
With the visionary minds working tirelessly to provide continuous service to Filipino inventors,the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology though the Invention Development Division(IDD) has created an electronic system that enables inventors to monitor their requests to secure their intellectual property (IP) rights.
Dubbed as i-SIPAG or the Inventors' System for Intellectual Property Applications and Grants (iSIPAG), the system is an online version of DOST-TAPI's very own SIPAG, an in-house, proprietary offline tool that is used to manage, monitor, and evaluate thousands of IPs granted or filed. i-SIPAG enables online filing and monitoring to make it easier for clients to submit requirements or inquire about the statuses of their applications.
Brought about by the constant requests from inventor clients for updates and follow ups on their pending requests for IP assistance, the i-SIPAG was developed to create an online gateway that provides limited and pre-determined information to clients with an instant and real-time solution to queries that can be electronically answered.
The i-SIPAG system complements DOST-TAPI’s Intellectual Property Rights Assistance Program or IPRAP, the institute’s program of assistance that provides technical, financial, and consultative assistance in securing appropriate IP protection of completed R&D projects generated/funded by Filipino public and private researchers, innovators or inventors, and technologists.
“As part of our quality service to our clients, the iSlPAG enables registered applicants to monitor and check the status of their application. By simply logging in to their account, they can now access the list of technologies that they have applied through DOST-TAPI with corresponding statuses. Thus, there is no need for them to write a letter, email, or go to DOST-TAPI to personally follow-up the status of their application. The system allows them instant access, real time” shared Atty. Marion Decena, Chief Science Research Specialist of DOST-TAPI, IDD.
Likewise, Atty. Decena added that her team is currently upgrading the i-SIPAG system so that it will soon cater online application of IP requests. Applicants simply need to create an account and apply for IP protection to DOST-TAPI online, saving them time in long queues and money in transportation.
As of now, there are two types of registration on the i-SlPAG website: the registration for institutions and for private researchers/ inventors. For institutions, the system assigns only one focal person as representative whereas for the private inventors/individuals, they may register to iSlPAG if they have pending requests for IP rights assistance as individual entities.
She also emphasized that through this system, hard copies of documents being received by the DOST-TAPI Records Section will be lessened and will eventually pave the way to paperless IP application, thus decreasing the carbon footprint.
Coincidentally, the launching of the i-SIPAG online platform on 27 January 2020 at the Hotel Jen, Manila may have been a great timing as it happened less than two months before the country-wide travel restrictions brought by community quarantine protocols due to the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Because of this, clients with pending applications for IP protection can still get updates online, hence, giving DOST-TAPI an edge in the transition of government services to the new normal guidelines set by the Interagency Task Force.
“i-SlPAG is very beneficial and essential for us, especially the IP Team. Previously, we often encountered problems in document tracking, file retrieval, and data consolidation. These problems arise due to the volume of requests that we have received and acquired from the past years. With the use of i-SlPAG, said problems are minimized” explained Atty. Marion D. Decena when asked on how the system benefits the Institute.
As of today, there are 5,271 technology accounts being handled/managed by DOST-TAPI. These accounts were generated through the years with DOST-TAPI's intellectual property assistance to local technology generators, researchers and inventors
Meanwhile, there are 49 applicants registered in i-SIPAG composed of 30 private inventors and 19 institutions. The i-SIPAG development team is expecting more registrations as the team targets to have all of IPRAP clients registered, as part of the continuous improvement of the program.
“IP contributes enormously to our national economy. Industries across our country rely on the adequate enforcement of their patents, trademarks, and copyrights, while consumers use IP to ensure they are purchasing safe, guaranteed products. We believe that IP rights are worth protecting” said Engr. Edgar I. Garcia, Director of DOST-TAPI.
DOST-TAPI S&T Media Service
NUR LEMUEL C. CASTILLO