The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines is seeking designation as an international searching authority and international preliminary examining authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The treaty allows patent applicants and inventors to file a single patent application in one IP office, resulting in protection in multiple countries. As a result, the Philippines is set to become a more attractive business destination and an even more reliable partner in patent protection.
The process of obtaining trademark registration is only the beginning. To ensure continued validity and protection, a trademark owner must use the registered mark in the Philippines and comply with other regulatory filings. For example, a declaration of actual use must be provided and contain information on where the goods or services are available, as well as photographs, labels or other physical manifestations of use in the Philippines.
San Miguel Brewery Inc and Iconic Beverages Inc recently filed an opposition against a trademark application for the mark ICE MOUNTAIN. San Miguel and Iconic Beverages argued that the ICE MOUNTAIN mark resembled its BLUE ICE device mark and contended that consumers would likely be confused. The Bureau of Legal Affairs saw no reason to deny the trademark application and held that the competing marks were not confusingly similar.
Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide Inc filed an opposition against the application for trademark registration of the mark 'W' filed by W Land Holdings Inc for the latter's real estate business. The director general of the Intellectual Property Office stated that allowing the registration of W Land's mark would lead to confusion, despite the alleged dissimilarity between the goods and services offered by the parties.
In the Philippines, certain IP disputes are mandatorily referred to mediation. The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) recently entered into a memorandum of understanding, giving parties to all mediation proceedings the option to refer the matter to WIPO mediation instead of IPOPHL mediation. IPOPHL has now published guidelines on this process.
Daiso Industries recently opposed a trademark application filed by Ma Olivia Tan for MYSMART ONE-SHOP DAISO, contending that it was confusingly similar to its mark DAISO. The Intellectual Property Office ruled for Daiso Industries, stating that it was highly likely that the public would mistake the marks as variations of each other.
The Philippines has been removed from the Office of the United States Trade Representative's Special 301 Watch List, after being on the list since 1994. Removal will have a positive effect on the Philippines' image as a country where IP rights are respected and IP laws are being implemented and followed.
The Technology Application and Promotion Institute and the Association of Patent Agent Qualifying Examinations Professionals Inc have entered into a memorandum of agreement regarding the drafting and prosecution of patent applications of Filipino inventors vetted by the Department of Science and Technology. The memorandum of agreement is expected to increase the number of quality local patent filings.
Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide Inc filed an opposition against the application for trademark registration of the mark 'W' filed by W Land Holdings Inc in the Philippines for the latter's real estate business. The director general of the Intellectual Property Office stated that allowing the registration of W Land's mark would lead to confusion, despite the alleged dissimilarity between the goods and services offered by the parties.
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines recently drafted proposed rules and regulations that aim to provide a system of registration for geographical indications. While no date has been set for the issue of the final version rules and regulations, its efforts must be applauded as a clear indication of its drive to strengthen IP rights protection.
Certain amendments to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines have recently been passed. Among other things, the amendments deal with third-party liability for infringement, organisational changes to the IP Office and the commitment of the Philippine government to align its laws to international treatises.