Trade and Industry Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. welcomed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 Report for 2016 citing Philippine compliance to IPR protection and enforcement. “Government’s sufficient IPR protection and enforcement feeds an environment where creativity and innovation can truly flourish. This positive news encourages us to venture further into cutting edge innovation and technology as tools for inclusive growth and sustainability,” Cristobal stated.

For three consecutive years now, the Philippines has been off the USTR Special 301 Report. The report is an annual review of IPR protection and enforcement of the US’ trading partners.

DTI sees IPR protection and enforcement as a vital component in forwarding the country’s Innovation Economy agenda. Patented inventions, franchise business opportunities, copyrighted materials and industrial designs, and start ups rely heavily on IPR protection and enforcement.

DTI recently launched Slingshot, a program to support startups in the country. “A strong IPR regime is one of the essential elements in an ecosystem that would encourage the growth of start-ups,” Cristobal said.

“Venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs would favor countries which support and comply with international regulations on intellectual property protection,” emphasized DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado. “This ensures them that their businesses, products and technologies, specifically those in the innovative and creative industries, are protected,” she added.

Continue policy reforms and active partnership of the government with the private sector particularly rights holders, business organizations and industry organizations are among the initiatives taken for IPR protection and enforcement in the country. The Special 301 Report cites the Philippines’ public-private partnership in raising IPR protection awareness as among the best practices worldwide.

DTI programs support innovation entrepreneurship among micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. The DTI works with other government agencies including the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). DTI also formed a task force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to specifically focus on the development of innovative technologies and products in the country.