The ITSO Franchise started in 2010 through a cooperation Agreement with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It was formally launched on March 22, 2012 at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.
In 2010, the IPOPHL launched a project to establish Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSO) or "Patent Libraries" within universities and higher education institutions. The objective was to strengthen local institutional capacity to access patent information for use in research, education, idea generation and general business development. At the same time, the ITSOs were envisioned to be the patent service providers in their local communities, conducting not only patent searches but also patent drafting, prosecution representation, advisory, training and over-all IP management.
The progressive economies of the world are able to capitalize on the patent system because their scientists, researchers and R&D practitioners in the academe and industries were able to access latest scientific and technological information from the world patent databases and use the same to generate new and useful knowledge to create innovative and competitive products and services. Further, they are able to seek patent protection for the new knowledge, products and services. This way, the patent system has come to play an indispensable role in the economic development of the more advanced countries.
In most developing countries, however, the patent system only serves to protect predominantly foreign technology embodied in products and services marketed and sold in the country. There is hardly any patent activity involving resident inventors, researchers and industry. In the Philippines for example, scientists and researchers are generally unaware of the rich source of information found in the world patent databases. Lacking the necessary skills to conduct patent search and understand patent documents, their researches are frequently done without the benefit of knowing prior existing inventions or related scientific findings contained in patent documents. Review of related literature conducted by researchers does not cover patent literature. Likewise, industries rarely seek competitive and technological information from patent databases.
It is for this reason that IPOPHL embarked on the project of establishing the ITSO which has expanded to include non-government and government instrumentalities that have become interested in using patent information in realizing their mandates. To date, there are eighty-one (81) ITSOs all over the Philippines located within universities and higher education institutions, comprising of academic institutions (70), government agencies (8), and cooperating institutions (3).
Download: ITSO Project Document