The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO) recently released the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Philippine Technology Transfer Act of 2009.
Signed into law on March 23, the Technology Transfer Act which took effect May 8 this year grants Intellectual Property ownership to research and development institutions that conduct research and development (R&D) using public funds. This paves the way for scientists to benefit from the results of public-funded researches. It allows scientists, state universities and colleges, and research institutions to profit from research funded by taxpayers.
The IRR, which emphasizes the need to transfer and commercialize technologies generated by research institutions using public funds, was signed on August 19 by DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo and IPO Director General Ricardo R. Blancaflor. Commercialization, in this case, refers to the process of deriving income or profit from a technology, such as the creation of a spin-off company, or through licensing, or the sale of the technology and/or intellectual property rights.
The aim is for research institutions to effectively translate results of government-funded R&D into useful products and services that benefit the public. The successful transfer of government-funded R&D depends on the proper management of intellectual property.
“Intellectual property" refers to intangible assets resulting from the creative work of an individual or organization.
The DOST, IPO, and the Department of Trade and Industry are expected to issue guidelines on intellectual property valuation, commercialization and information sharing.
With the assistance of the DOST and the IPO, all research institutions are encouraged to establish Technology Licensing Offices (TLOs) and technology business development offices. The TLOs will assist scientists in applying for intellectual property.
The ownership of intellectual property rights (IPRs) from government-funded research will, in general, remain in the research institution that carried out the research.
The government may, however, assume ownership of IPRs in cases of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency, or where public interest requires, and, in particular, concerns for national security, nutrition, health or the development of other vital sectors of the national economy.
The IRR covers the management of intellectual property rights from research performed by government institutions and the commercialization of research results and the creation of spin-off companies.
Research institutions and government funding agencies are authorized to withhold from public disclosure, for a reasonable time, any information relating to the intellectual property to allow the institution to secure intellectual property protection.
Revenue and royalty which can be generated through technology transfer and commercialization of IP will be shared between the institution and researcher. Monetary revenues include royalty payments, proceeds from sale of technology, upfront technology transfer fees, and dividends or sale from shares of stocks.
Researchers are allowed to commercialize government-funded research results by creating, owning, controlling, or managing a company or spin-off firm. The process will be governed by a Technology Transfer Protocol which every research and development institution will put in place.
Income earned by a research and development institution from commercialization of publicly-funded R&D shall be considered as a revolving fund for the use of the research institution to defray intellectual property management costs and expenses. It can also be used to fund research and development, science and technology capability building, and technology transfer activities, including operation of technology licensing offices. No amount of said income shall be used for payment of salaries and other allowances.
However, in case the income exceeds 10 percent of the research institution’s annual budget, a minimum of 70 percent of the excess income shall be remitted to the Bureau of Treasury. This does not apply to government-owned and controlled corporations as well as state colleges and universities. (S&T Media Service)