With the advent of technology comes along the access to all kinds of information as well.
Albeit playing a positive role in the lives we currently enjoy, globalization also brought about problems in the business world with regards to the protection of intellectual property and product patents.
As information is readily available, important details can get siphoned off without proper endorsement from the actual person or company whom the information belongs to. But, all these changes don’t necessarily need to be viewed in a negative light.
As long as you are able to take charge of the situation and keep yourself safeguarded, information in the form of new products or even technology should be shared with the world—especially if many would benefit from it.
Intellectual Property in the Philippines
Intellectual property refers to anything created by someone, including but not limited to inventions, literary works, items created by artists (e.g. artwork and musical pieces), symbols, designs, images, pictures, and even names that are used for commercial purposes.
All these creations are protected by the law, ensuring that the people behind it are given due recognition or remuneration for their effort.
At the office of the Intellectual Property in the Philippines, there are several categories wherein a creator or innovator can register their creation under. Below are some categories:
A patent refers to the exclusive rights to a product or process, as well as its improvements—granted that the product or process offers something new and useful.
The inventor or creator with the patent has the right to choose as to who can use, sell, or even make something similar during its 2-year validity period.
Throughout the entire duration, a patent’s information must be available to the public, as the owner is given enough time to gain ample commercial returns. Some examples of inventions or creations that can be filed as patents include new and useful machines, products and processes (non-biological and microbiological in nature); improvements of machines, products and processes; and microorganisms.
The basic requirements for a creation to be considered patentable are that the creation would have a novel idea, inventive, and can be applied in an industrial setting.
One needs to fill out a Request Form for a Grant of Philippine Patent, as well as submit descriptions and drawings of the invention or process.
Once the application has been filed, it will be published in the IPO Gazette. During the period of its publication, anyone can write in or contest the application.
Corresponding filing fees amount to PHP 3,600 and PHP 1,800, for big and small inventions, respectively.
A trademark is a tool used to differentiate services and goods from one another. It can be in the form of a word or a group of words; a sign, logo, or symbol. It could even be a combination of those above.
Essential in marketing your products or services, a trademark will help consumers identify your brand among the many others in the market. To protect your business’ trademark, it is advisable to have it registered.
This way, the owner of the trademark would have exclusive rights to make use of the mark. Furthermore, it will ensure that no one else can use the same or even a similar mark for the products or services of a similar nature.
Similar to a patent, you need to apply or file for the exclusive rights of the mark you wish to use for business purposes. As the rights to a mark are granted to the first person who filed with the IPO, it is imperative that one would conduct a search within the IPO’s Database to avoid redundancies in applications.
For filing purposes, one needs to fill out the Trademark Application Form, as well as attach a drawing of the mark. Corresponding filing fees amount to PHP 2,160 and PHP 1,080, for big and small marks, respectively.
A copyright refers to the protection given to the owner of an original work covering literary works, musical pieces, paintings, and computer programs, among others.
Under the copyright laws, the owner of the original work is entitled to economic rights and moral rights. Economic rights enable the creator to receive profit gains should his works be distributed by third parties. Moral rights, on the other hand, protect the connection between the creator and his work.
Once the owner receives the rights to his work, unauthorized third parties are prohibited from selling or distributing the works, especially for trade purposes.
One needs to fill out an application form, attach a copy of their work, and pay the basic filing fee of PHP 625 at the IPO.
The Madrid Protocol
The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty, allowing trademark registration in the Philippines or any country—as long as they are part of the Madrid Protocol.
One would only need to file a single application. Should your application be ratified, the approved mark will be protected in all the countries that are part of the Madrid Protocol.
By acceding to the Madrid Protocol, trademark owners in the Philippines would have better platforms to secure protection for their respective marks. The Madrid Protocol offers a simple and cost-effective solution that promotes transparency and enables entrepreneurs to secure their marks in a faster and easier manner.
Moreover, it encourages opening up businesses in multiple countries, as one can designate the countries where their marks would need protection. With the Madrid Protocol, companies can widen their market segment while keeping their interests in check.
With globalization, gaps between countries are now bridged easily. Businesspeople can now partake in business dealings around the world without having to worry about infringement of information.
With the help of all these intellectual property laws, information now becomes a boon to society.