The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), of which the Philippines is a member, considers intellectual property (IP) to be “creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.” Business enterprises are more concerned with the industrial property branch of IP, which pertains to patents, industrial designs, trademarks and service marks, the layout-designs of integrated circuits, undisclosed information/trade secrets, and geographical indications. In the Philippines, the agency in charge of IP legislation implementation is the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
Advantages of Registration
Registering your trademark, patent, industrial design, or utility model endows you with ownership rights. Registration provides you with blanket protection – you will have exclusive use of your intellectual property and there are penalties in place for those that infringe on your rights. This not only provides peace of mind, but is the best defense against any possible future misuse of your brand or of any other instance of IP theft. According to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, violators of IP rights are liable to pay damages and administrative fines and can also have their products seized and whatever property they used in committing the offense held forfeit.
Why Get Professional Help
The process of registering a trademark or applying for a patent may look relatively straightforward on paper, but is rather complex in practice. This is true for most countries that have IP legislation and the Philippines is no exception. An experienced IP lawyer will help you steer clear of possible pitfalls, prepare your application with the goal of providing you with the broadest possible protection, and provide you with all the advice you will need.
Patents and Trademarks
At FilePino, we aim to simplify the trademark registration and patent application process for you. Our team of attorneys and consultants has the necessary experience with the process of filing with IPOPHL as well as the in-depth knowledge of IP law in the Philippines. Below are your protection options.
A patent is the right that the state grants to inventors or the company that they work for, which allows for the exclusive commercial use of the invention, whether it’s a product or a process, for a period of 20 years. In exchange for this exclusive right, the description of the patented invention must be disclosed to the public. Note that not all inventions will be considered patentable.
This type of protection is generally used for mechanical inventions or innovations that are not considered inventive enough to meet the criteria of patentability.
A utility model is easier to obtain than a patent and provides a nonrenewable protection period of 7 years, starting from the date of filing.
A trademark is defined as a visible sign or combination of signs, which serves to distinguish an enterprise’s goods or services from those of others. For a smoother registration process, it’s recommended that you have a trademark search done before you file your application and that you consult with an expert to ensure that your mark meets the criteria for registration. This will help you avoid future contestation issues. Once the certificate of registration has been granted, it shall be valid for 10 years.
The Intellectual Property Code defines industrial design as “any composition of lines or colors or any three-dimensional form, whether or not associated with lines or colors – provided that such composition or form gives a special appearance to and can serve as pattern for an industrial product or handicraft.” In order for a product to be eligible for industrial design protection, it must be considered new and original. The protection period is 5 years from the application’s filing date and this is renewable, upon payment of a renewal fee, for no more than two consecutive 5-year periods.