Potential vaccine makers to receive gov’t assistance with patent search process

FREEPIK

THE INTELLECTUAL Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said Wednesday that it launched a patent information report project to aid manufacturers that might be interested in making goods for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The patent reports will list information on COVID-19 drugs and vaccines for the use of pharmaceutical and research and development organizations, IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said in a virtual event.

“A lot more must be done to equip our manufacturers and supporting industries,” he said. “IPOPHL can inspire, can help set the motion, and stimulate local research for the development of much needed COVID-19 innovations.”

The reports will be available for free. The first report on Dexamethasone, an arthritis medication used to treat COVID-19 patients, has been uploaded to the website.

“The bureau hopes that this patent information report is useful to scientists and researchers and serve as a starting point for local businesses that are interested in helping in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” IPOPHL Bureau of Patents Director Anne N. Edillon said.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the project will ease the process of patent search, which involves gathering the information needed to avoid duplicating existing patent-protected products. He said the patent search process is complex and requires skill.

“(Patent search) must be leveraged by businesses if they want to map out their strategy based on the latest trends, which would lead to stronger intellectual property ownership and provide them with greater valuation,” he said.

“Better access to patent information on anti-COVID agents could be the first step for our country to develop manufacturing capabilities on COVID-19 vaccines.”

IPOPHL has been conducting patent training for state universities and research institutes working on farm and fishery commodities research.

The 17 state universities and colleges and research and development institutions are each working on agricultural commodities research prioritized by the Department of Science and Technology’s agriculture research council, including mango, rice, swine, bamboo, dairy cattle, and rubber. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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