The Philippines has partnered with France to undertake activities to promote intellectual property (IP) protection and for capacity building, according to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.

In a statement, IPOPHL said it has tied up with the French Patent and Trademarks Office (INPI) through the signing of a joint work plan on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations working group on IP Cooperation meetings on April 25.

Under the work plan, both parties agreed to undertake capacity-building and information exchange activities to be completed by next year.

In particular, there will be activities to build IPOPHL's patent mapping and analytics services to support innovation-driven companies and startups in finding their competitive edge in the market.

There will also be learning sessions to help micro, small and medium enterprises understand how to take advantage of geographical indications (GIs) for growth.

The GI identifies a good as originating in a territory, region or locality where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and/or human factors.

This can serve as a marketing tool by enhancing a product's distinctiveness and appeal.

The IPOPHL and INPI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2023 to work together in promoting IP creation, protection, utilization, management and enforcement.

The MOU also covers collaboration in strengthening the assessment of IP applications, training IP professionals and human resources development.

'Our cooperation plan with INPI includes a series of activities that will deepen IPOPHL's capabilities and bring IP to more individuals and businesses. We hope to encourage more to create, innovate and thrive on the value of their protected IP assets,' IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba said.

By identifying specific activities and targets in the work plan, IPOPHL can ensure it is able to maximize the cooperation and partnership agreements and benefit the parties and stakeholders.

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