The role of Intellectual Property in National Development
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) defines Intellectual Property (IP) as “creations of the mind.”1 IP can be a significant contributor to economic growth and development, especially in a developing country like the Philippines. It plays a key role in driving innovation and economic growth2, especially since it represents the main value component of many trade transactions. Thus, the Philippines should tap the opportunities that IP offers and utilize them for national development.
The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022, a report of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which ranks world economies according to their innovation capabilities based on 80 indicators that are grouped into innovation inputs and outputs, indicates that the Philippines performed above expectations for its current level of development in 2022. It must be noted, however, that there is still a need for the Philippine government to support innovation and the protection and commercialization of IP rights in the form of infrastructure, institutional support, human capital, and research3. IP rights, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights, “are an important means used by firms to help protect their investments in innovation.”4 This is because a strong IP protection system spurs creativity and innovation as people would recognize that their ideas and creations are secure. It also helps creative industries in getting their projects easily financed because not only investors but also the relevant stakeholders, get the needed peace of mind in pooling their resources on IP projects that are protected.
A strong IP protection system is also crucial for creativity and innovation to prosper, especially in creative industries. Countries with strong IP protection systems have more creative outputs5. When the laws and regulations on IP protection are strictly enforced, IP professionals and entrepreneurs can be at ease in thinking about the financial future of their creations, products, and services. A robust Philippine IP system, one that is at par with global standards, is greatly needed in order for the number of design thinkers and innovators to further increase. Thus, when creative industries are given the incentives to further develop, the country also stands to benefit from the growth of the sector.
Needless to say, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the IP protection system in the Philippines. Innovation plays a pivotal role in economic development5. We can use the example of progressive countries like the United States wherein technological innovation served as a critical contributing factor to the country’s growth rate2. What’s important is that we must be able to recognize and harness its full potential to and for national development, while adapting to the changing realities of our time.
1 Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. (n.d.) “What is Intellectual Property?”. https://www.ipophil.gov.ph/what-is-intellectual-property/
2 Ezell, S., and N. Cory. (2019) The Way Forward for Intellectual Property Internationally. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. https://itif.org/publications/2019/04/25/way-forward-intellectual-property-internationally/
3 World Intellectual Property Organization. (2023). Global Innovation Index 2022 - Philippines. https://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_2000_2022/ph.pdf
4 National Research Council. (1993). The Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 1993. Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology. In Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology (pp. 3-18). The National Academies Press.
5 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (n.d.). National Intellectual Property Systems, Innovation and Economic Development. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - IP Studies. https://www.oecd.org/innovation/ip-studies.htm
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