App developers urged to protect IP from outset


A DIGITAL commerce association is pushing for mobile application developers in the Philippines to seek intellectual property protections for their work to avoid costly legal disputes.

Maria Jesusa Viray, founding member of the board of the Philippine Association for Digital Commerce and Decentralized Industries, said 75% of developers in the US have registered their intellectual property (IP).

“Most of those who develop (in the Philippines) are not even registered. So they don’t register their logos, their names, their artworks and all. They think that when they’re bigger that’s when they have to do all of these things. So in the scheme of things, it is the last thing that they do,” she said.

She was speaking at a July 26 event organized by the lntellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), IPOPHL said in a statement Thursday.

Ms. Viray, who is also the chief executive officer of Medicare Plus, Inc., said she is hoping for stronger intellectual property rights education for app developers. Efforts should be focused, she added, on understanding which work can be protected to avoid legal pitfalls.

“With more education, people, our developers, our entrepreneurs, who are planning to get into the industry, will know that (IP protection) is part of their checklist when they start,” she said.

App Association Senior Global Policy Counsel Brian Scarpelli said rights holders must be proactive to avoid the risks of an IP infringement proceeding.

“I urge all of you to be proactive in protecting your own copyrights and getting informed,” he said. The event it part of a WIPO project to support the software sector and mobile application sector in the Philippines, Kenya, and Trinidad and Tobago. — Jenina P. Ibanez