The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are extending the Trademark Registration Incentive Program “Juana Make a Mark” for another year.

In a statement Thursday, the extension of the waiver on fees targets to add another 1,000 trademark registrations from micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), or make the program available until February 2019, whichever comes later.

“We are extending this assistance program to get more MSMEs from far-flung areas of the country, into the fold of protecting their trademarks,” IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago said.

Santiago and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez witnessed last Tuesday the signing of the agreement, which were inked by Bureau of Trademarks Director Leny Raz and DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya.

“The success of the first round of the program shows MSMEs are realizing the significance of trademark give, such as an edge in marketing their products,” added Santiago.

The Juana Make a Mark program started in 2017, where businesses in priority sectors of DTI and IPOPHL, or in areas that are prone to natural disasters and have social and economic challenges, can take advantage of waived payment of basic filing fees, fees for claim of color, and publication fee.

According to IPOPHL, this program has driven the increase in number of trademark filings since this was launched.

The first round of the program opened 1,000 slots for MSMEs to avail the incentive program.

Meanwhile, data from IPOPHL showed that trademark filings last year reached 14,229 from 11,793 applications in 2016.

Filings from Filipino entities reached 3,654 in 2017.