Trademark Registration Procedure
In today’s highly competitive business environment, your company’s reputation is frequently its most valuable asset. Your trademark assists people in remembering your company and what it stands for.
When you’ve established your reputation and people see your trademark, they’ll know they’re getting a high-quality product or service. A trademark can thus be a highly effective tool for retaining and expanding your market, particularly if you license it or open the business to franchising. As a result, it’s critical to safeguard your trademark and ensure that it’s only associated with your company.
The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines protects trademarks, service marks, patents, and other intangible assets. To protect your asset, you must register it with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
ACQUISITION OF RIGHTS
In the Philippines, trademark registration is required to enforce certain trademark rights, such as the right to stop and prevent trademark infringement. In most cases, the rights to a mark are obtained through registration. The Philippines employs a first-come, first-served system.
Any visible sign capable of distinguishing an enterprise’s goods (trademark) or services (service mark) may be registered as a trademark.
Because a prior trademark application or registration can preclude a subsequent application for the same or similar mark, conducting an availability search before applying is strongly advised. If legal analysis and advice are required, a search can be conducted online at ipophil.gov.ph or through a Philippine trademark attorney or agent.
The law does not specify a time limit for filing a trademark registration application. However, in the Philippines, trademark owners who have previously applied for the same mark in another Paris Convention country or a World Trade Organization member country are eligible for a priority claim procedure (other than the Philippines). The local Philippine application must be filed within six months of the date of the earliest foreign application.
The following are the minimum requirements for obtaining a filing date for a trademark application:
- An express or implicit indication that the registration of a mark is sought.
- The identity of the applicant.
- Contact details of the applicant or its agent/representative.
- A reproduction of the mark; and
- The list of the goods or services
In the Philippines, the Nice classification of goods and services is used. A single application may cover a single class of goods and/or services or multiple classes of goods and/or services.
The Philippines may be designated through the Madrid Protocol.
EXAMINATION AND GRANT
An application is subjected to substantive examination for registrability by a Philippine Intellectual Property Office examiner. If the application is found to be allowable for registration, it will be published for opposition. If the mark is not opposed within thirty days of its publication, it will be deemed registered at the end of the opposition period.
Simple applications with no objections to registration are usually published within two months of filing. Once a mark is deemed registered after publication, the certificate of registration is normally issued within two months of the payment of the certificate of the registration fee.