THE GOVERNMENT has launched a program accelerating the grant of intellectual property (IP) protections for science and technology research it supports, which is intended to speed up the commercialization of any innovations developed.

The program will reduce the processing time for a “large number” of industrial designs to five days, while the processing of utility models will be done in two months, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Rowel S. Barba said at an online event. Patents will also be expedited, he added.

Representatives from the Trade department, the Science and Technology department, and IPOPHL signed a memorandum of agreement to officially launch the “Scitech Superhighway program” Tuesday.

“Seeing our innovators commercially roll out their works at the earliest possible time will allow them to see a faster return on capital… enabling them to venture sooner into another socially-impactful innovation project,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in his speech.

He added that a rapid intellectual property protection process will help commercialize entrepreneurial ideas.

“This would make innovation projects a sustainable and steady source of livelihood — as well as a potentially massive generator of higher-income jobs.”

But Mr. Lopez also said the Philippines is still dealing with gaps in its digital and physical infrastructure.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) last month said that closing the digital and infrastructure gap is key to pandemic recovery efforts in Southeast Asian developing countries. This would improve access to health, education, and financial services, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said. — Jenina P. Ibañez