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Intellectual Property Rights: FAQs

1. IP & Related Rights
a. What is Intellectual Property?1,2
Intellectual Property (IP) is an intangible asset that can be protected from theft or unauthorized use. Any person can own IP and have the right to sell, license or give it to others.
Per Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, Intellectual Property consists of the following:
i. Copyright and Related Rights
ii. Trademarks and Service Marks
iii. Geographic Indications
iv. Industrial Designs
v. Patents
vi. Mask Works or Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits
vii. Protection of Undisclosed Information
b. Why Register Intellectual Property?
Registering Intellectual Property has the following benefits:
i. It provides the owner exclusive rights to prevent others from copying, producing or using their IP’s products.
ii. IP can be considered as assets that can be used as leverage for negotiations or collaborations.
iii. IP Ownership provides prestige and to the owner as a sign of the owner’s intellectual productivity.
iv. Improvement the economy by providing new knowledge that can be used as basis for future research.
c. Why Register Intellectual Property through the University of the Philippines?
Students, Researchers and Faculty Members of the University of the Philippines System may obtain various incentives when registering Intellectual Property that they developed through UP. The University will fund and facilitate the IP application. UP will also facilitate the IP’s commercialization by collaborating with industry partners. UP will also assist the IP owners in any infringement case.
The Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development facilitates Intellectual Property registration and its commercialization through its Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Unit.

2. Patents and Patent Rights

a. Please see “Patents & Patent Application

3. Copyrights

4. Trademarks

a. What are Trademarks?
Trademarks are compositions that may consist of words, labels, 3D marks, color combinations or shape of products. Trademarks serve as a guarantee of product quality, an indicator of the product’s source and a means for advertisement.
b. How long does the registration for Trademarks last?
Trademark registration can be renewed after every 10-year period.

5. Trade Secrets

a. What are Trade Secrets?
A trade secret refers to a process, formula, tool, plan, mechanism or compound that is only known by the owner or disclosed to a selected number of employees. The trade secret is used to produce a service or product with commercial value.
b. What is the difference between a Trade Secret and a Patent?
Trade Secrets are not publicly disclosed by its owner. In contrast, patents are publicly disclosed by its owner. In return, the government grants the patent owner an exclusive right to exclude others from making, using, importing, and offering for sale the product of his invention.
Patent protection lasts for twenty years from the date of application. Trade secrets are not protected under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
c. How can you protect Trade Secrets?
Trade secrets may be protected through confidential agreements. Industry partners may sign the Non-disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement in order to access University-based technology. Employees may sign the Intellectual Property Agreement for projects that require trade secrets.

6. Mask Works/Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits and Industrial Design

a. What are Mask Works?
Per Republic Act 9150, Mask Works or Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits are three-dimensional representation of integrated circuits with electronic function.
b. What are Industrial Designs?
Per Republic Act 9150, Industrial Designs are compositions of lines, colors or three-dimensional forms that provide a special appearance or pattern for industrial products/handicrafts.
c. Why Register Mask Works and Industrial Designs?
Registering mask works and industrial designs would provide the owner a monopoly on the mask works and industrial design. These intellectual properties may be used as a basis of introducing new products that would benefit the technology. The intellectual properties could also be licensed for entrepreneurs. Disclosure of mask works and industrial designs likewise enrich the knowledge base for research in designing integrated circuits and design compositions.
d. How long does the registration for Mask Works and Industrial Designs last?
Mask works and industrial designs registration last for five years from the filing date of the application. The registration can be renewed but not for more than two consecutive 5-year periods.
Compiled by:  Cedrik Ben Gayares and John Vincent Misa