Inventor and Physicist Nikola Tesla once said, “I don’t care that they stole my idea. I care that they don’t have any of their own.”

These words, uttered by one of the world’s most brilliant minds during the 18th century, still hold true today when all sorts of creative work and ideas are freely available on the internet.

Nowadays, plagiarism is a crime that has become much easier to commit. But how do you protect your works from thieves? The government has agencies that aim to protect your original work.

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to any creation or product of the human mind. It can be an invention, an original design, a practical application of a good idea, and a mark of ownership such as a business trademark, or works of literature and other artistic endeavors.

Annually, World Intellectual Property Day is observed across the globe every 26th of April. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2000 to raise awareness of how patents, copyrights, trademarks, and designs impact our daily lives.

ip day

In our country, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is the lead agency responsible for handling the registration and conflict resolution of intellectual property rights.

On its website, the IPOPHL identified these following as scopes of IP: (1) copyrights and related marks; (2) trademarks and service marks; (3) geographical indications; (4) industrial designs; (5) patents; (6) lay-out designs of integrated circuits; and (7) protection of undisclosed information.
Among the abovementioned, the most widely known are patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

This is a grant issued by the government through the IPOPHL. It is an exclusive right granted to a product, process or an improvement of a product or process which is new, inventive and useful. This exclusive right gives the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the product of his invention during the life of the patent.

A patent has a term of protection of twenty (20) years providing an inventor significant commercial gain. In return, the patent owner must share the full description of the invention.

This is a form of intellectual property, which protects the rights of authors and creators of literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays; newspaper articles; films and television programs; letters; artistic works including paintings, sculptures, drawing and photographs; architecture; computer programs; and advertisements, maps and technical drawings.

Application for copyright may also be done at the National Library of the Philippines. Its term of protection of works covers the lifetime of the author and fifty (50) years after his death.

A trademark differentiates goods and services from each other. This is also an important marketing tool that may come in the form of a word, a group of words, sign, symbol, logo, or a combination of any of these.

A trademark is effective in product recall. When utilized properly, a trademark can become the most valuable business asset of an enterprise.

To know more about IPOPHL, you may go to their website www.ipophil.gov.ph, call them through 238-6300, or visit their office at 28 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill Town Center, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.

The National Library of the Philippines can be reached through http://web.nlp.gov.ph/, 336-7200, or in their office at T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila.