Harry Gwynn Omar M. Fernan Image

Harry Gwynn Omar M. Fernan

is a co-founding partner of Cerilles & Fernan Intellectual Property Law (CFIP Law). As an IP lawyer, He has an extensive experience in trademark and patent prosecution, intellectual property litigation, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Applications, trademark applications through the Madrid Protocol, copyright protection, and the foreign prosecution of patent and trademark applications.

For more information or to contact Harry, please visit his firm profile page.

Recent Articles by Harry Gwynn Omar M. Fernan

Indigenizing the Intellectual Property System

On August 9, we once again observe the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Traditionally, international organizations take advantage of this time to promote the contributions of indigenous peoples across the globe. However, the day also presents an opportunity for States and international organizations to reflect on collective efforts to protect and preserve the culture and heritage of our indigenous communities. There are many threats to the rich cultures of our indigenous populations. These threats have remained widely unresolved despite the fact that indigenous peoples make up around 370-500 million of the world population. Included in these overlooked issues is the lack of protection given to the intellectual property (IP) of indigenous peoples. It is high time that we push for more accessible, effective, and durable protective measures for indigenous creations.

Countries Like the Philippines are Unable to Utilize IP Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19

The Philippines has so far relied on donations and direct purchase to obtain vaccines to address the pandemic. As of March 2021, the Philippines received 2 million Sinovac doses from China and about half a million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility. However, these doses could only vaccinate 1% of the country’s more than 110 million people. Concerns regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines are also looming in other developing and least developed countries. It is reported that due to a supposed vaccine hoarding by wealthy countries, low-income countries have minute chances of getting their populations vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming year. On the contrary, wealthier nations have already been able to secure nearly three times the doses needed to vaccinate their entire populations. As the United Nations Secretary General lamented back in February, progress in COVID-19 vaccinations has been “wildly uneven and unfair.”