THE PHILIPPINES may soon offer its first post-graduate degree in intellectual property through a university partnership.

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) in a statement on Thursday said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with De La Salle University (DLSU) to develop a master’s degree in intellectual property.

“The rationale behind the establishment of a post-graduate course on IP is to further professionalize the experts in the field, which would mean raising the bar on the quality of work and service an IP practitioner is expected to deliver,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

“Improving the workforce can then lead to a better, more accessible, and more scalable IP system.”

Mr. Barba and DLSU President Brother Raymundo B. Suplido last Feb. 24 signed the MoU, which includes a partnership in producing a semi-annual academic journal on intellectual property management, technology, and innovation.

The two groups will hold a conference, which is tentatively scheduled for the third quarter, for researchers to present papers for possible publication in the journal.

Under the agreement, IPOPHL will provide capacity-building support for DLSU’s program. The two groups also plan to extend intellectual property training programs outside the university.

“The DLSU-IPOPHL partnership is hoped to form the foundations of a stronger relationship between IPOPHL and research institutions that would provide solutions to the country’s developmental and educational concerns,” Mr. Barba said.

IPOPHL’s Intellectual Property Academy plans to further expand its university partners for intellectual property education and training.

IPOPHL Deputy Director General Teodoro C. Pascua, IP Academy Officer-in-Charge Dr. Frederick P. Romero, DLSU’s IP Office Director Atty. Christopher E. Cruz, and DLSU’s Research and Innovation Vice-Chancellor Dr. Raymond Girard R. Tan were witnesses to the signing. — Jenina P. Ibañez