Freedom to Operate necessary for favorable fairness opinion – DOST-TAPI


Muntinlupa City, Philippines – The Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-TAPI) conducted a training on Freedom to Operate (FTO) on 04-05 May 2017 at the B Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City in collaboration with the Association of PAQE Professionals, Inc. (APP).

The training was conducted through the aggressive investment of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) to support its technology transfer activities. Among the projects implemented by DOST-TAPI which funded the training-workshop was the “Support to the Preparation of Freedom to Operate (FTO_ in the Technology Transfer Activities of PCAARRD-Funded Projects”. It is notable that the conducted FTO training was the first in the country through the best efforts of TAPI and PCAARRD.

Reputable speakers from the sole association of registered patent agents in the Philippines headed by Atty. Bayani B. Loste, conducted the training-workshop. Other speakers were Atty. Jose Eduardo T. Genilo, Atty. Anne Mariae Celeste V. Jumadla, Atty. Misael F. Costes, and Atty. Criela D. Fragante.

To be able to legally commercialize a specific technology in agriculture for instance, an FTO analysis is necessary in determining if there is already an existing patent, trademarks or other IP rights that cover that technology, the processes it undergoes, and the marketing strategies used in promoting that technology.

Atty. Ivy Marion D. Decena, Division Manager of DOST-TAPI reminded the participants of the importance of having FTO reports in obtaining favorable fairness opinion during her welcome remarks.

“It is important that we fully understand and become fully equipped with vital knowledge and skills on FTO assessment to ensure that the technologies we offer do not infringe valid patents,” she added.

A total of 25 participants from state universities and colleges, research and development institutes, and government councils and offices attended the training.

Participants of the DOST-TAPI Freedom to Operate Training on 04-05 May 2017 at the B Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Since most of the participants are researchers and Technology Transfer Officers (TTOs), she encouraged them to take the training by heart. The FTO training is also a preparation for the TTOs and other researchers to handle potential court actions and how to possibly avert them through FTO.

The participants are expected to submit an FTO report within two months (on or before 05 July 2017) after the training. The reports will be reviewed and validated by an external independent law firm for comments and recommendations.

The training is also a preparation for an advance course on FTO to be announced in a later date this year.

DOST-TAPI S&T Media Service
Jund Rian A. Doringo