Registering your logo or trademark is an essential step to take in order to protect your business. Being registered gives you the ability to take legal action against anyone who uses your product names, designs, and logos without your permission.
In the Philippines, trademark registration is handled by the Bureau of Trademarks of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). By “trademark”, the IPO refers to “any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods (trademark) or services (service mark) of an enterprise and shall include a stamped or marked container of goods”.
Steps on Registering Your Trademark in the IPO
There are five (5) steps or phases involved in the filing and prosecution procedures for registering a logo or trademark in the Philippines and they are as follows:
All initial filings of an application for registration of a trademark in the Philippines must be addressed to the Director and shall be in Filipino or English. The requirements include a request for registration, information regarding the applicant and the trademark to be registered. Part 4, Rule 400 under the Rules & Regulations on Trademarks, Service Marks, Trade Names and Marked or Stamped Containers contain a complete list of the requirements.
Applications are handled by the Bureau of Trademarks of the IPO. An applicant number will be issued after a thorough examination of the application requirements has been performed by a duty officer and after the filing fee is paid.
2. Search and Examination
The process of searching is done to determine whether there are existing similar or identical trademarks to the one being applied for. Afterwards, the application will be examined to see if it complies with all rules and regulations. The application will be rejected if it doesn’t.
Some of the common objections involve prior conflicting rights with another proprietor, conflicts with a well-known trademark, distinctiveness, descriptiveness, and too broad description of goods and services, among others.
3. Publication in eGazette
The trademark is published in the IP Philippines eGazette once the trademark is approved. This is done to let the public know about the registration and give concerned parties a chance to oppose it if deemed necessary.
4. Opposition (if any)
The public is given up to 30 days from the issuance of the eGazette to oppose the trademark. After the Director of the Bureau of Legal Affairs verifies that there is no notice of opposition, the office will issue the Certificate of Registration.
The Certificate of Registration will again be published in the IP Philippines eGazette for the second time then entered in the official records. This will be valid for a period of ten (10) years, after which a request for renewal can be filed.
The entire process can take an average of 18 to 24 months. It might seem like such a long process to undertake. However, being registered will give you the peace of mind you need, knowing that only you have the exclusive rights to use your logo or trademark.