Protecting the creations of young minds

There is no better way to celebrate International Youth Day than to launch an intellectual property program that empowers our young changemakers.

Last 12 August, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines rolled out the Youth IP Incentive or YIPI program to waive fees for the trademark, patent, utility model and industrial design applications of our young filers. YIPI also provides technical assistance to handhold the youth in their IP registration journey.

The program garnered praise from no less than our Vice President Sara Duterte. She described YIPI as ensuring a “safe place” for young minds to pursue innovations, while gaining confidence that their IP creations are protected under the law and with the government’s full support.

But more than an incentive program, YIPI is our way of letting our young population know that they are important agents of change. With their energy and boldness to look at the world with fresh eyes and new perspectives, our young minds could hold solutions to a brighter and more sustainable future.

But of course, it does not do to encourage them through mere words. We must reinforce their ingenuity through action, and YIPI is the newest manifestation that IPOPHL walks the talk.

Sustainable innovations

Aside from launching the YIPI program last Friday, IPOPHL also held a pitching event. We bridged four students to financing institutions and private organizations that can help their commercialization dreams come to life.

Among these students, Mark Bantugon of the Mapua University showcased his Pili Sealant, which made headlines after bagging the prestigious James Dyson Award in 2021.

Yzhae Marionne Villaruel of the Manila Science High School presented the Multi-Saver Cane, inspired to help her mother with disability and aimed at helping the visually impaired and elders cross streets more safely.

Near Blessing Olpindo of the MIMAROPA Regional Science High School also showcased her GT Fabric, which could serve as packaging for dry goods and curb the use of single-use plastics for packaging.

And finally, Josefino Niño Ligan, Chesyne Danielle Pepito and David Elijah Corsini Atup of the Philippine Science High School Central Visayas Campus also presented their IMAHE (or image processing device for microplastic assessment and high-quality evaluation of water) which can detect and measure microplastic particles in water.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines and Idea Space Foundation Inc. were in full support of our young minds at the event, listening intently to what may be the very innovations that will build our sustainable future.

I myself am impressed that sustainability is at the center of our young changemakers’ innovative ambitions. While we’ve heard companies that complain over the costliness of green innovations, here, the young people are making sustainability happen!

So, it seems that YIPI will not only benefit young people in protecting their creations, but also change some elders’ false perspective of the youth as a reckless, rebellious, and self-entitled generation. By helping address this misconception, YIPI can also break intergenerational barriers and replace this with a spirit of cooperation.

It is high time we give our ears to future leaders, harness their enthusiasm, and invest in the endless innovative possibilities awaiting our young generation.

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