If you’re a foreign investor doing business in the Philippines, here are some of the intellectual property facts you need to learn to help you navigate the application of your business permits and licenses.

Intellectual Property Facts

1. The Philippines is a member of the following organizations:

• Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property

• Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

• Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol)

• World Trade Organization

2. Due to the Philippines’ membership in the World Trade Organization, it adheres to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

3. The Philippines’ Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the department that handles the applications for service marks, trade names, trademarks, and patents.

4. The IPO can also issue the certificates of registration for the service marks, trade names, trademarks, and patents.

5. The IPO can also accept the deposit of copyrighted works.

6. Associations, corporations, partnerships, and single proprietors based in the Philippines or in other foreign countries who own service marks, trade names, and trademarks can apply for registration with the IPO.

7. Registering with the IPO can give you the rights to a mark. Both local and foreign applications share the same registration procedures and whoever applies first will be given priority.

Within three years of the application date, the applicants must file a declaration of use for the marks they registered.

8. A registered trademark is valid for ten years. However, this 10-year validity is only valid for applicants who filed the necessary declaration of use with the IPO within one year following its fifth anniversary of registration.

9. Alternatively, the applicant can also provide the IPO a justifiable non-use of the registered marks within one year following its fifth anniversary of registration.

10. Registered marks can be renewed following its 10th anniversary of registration. This can be done as long as the registered marks are still used commercially.

11. Patent registrations are the application for all industrial designs, inventions, and utility models.

12. There is a first applied, first patented rule. This simplifies the process for determining who the rightful owner of the patented intellectual property is.

13. An invention’s patent registration is valid for 20 years.

14. A utility model’s patent registration is valid for seven years. This patent automatically expires after seven years.

15. An industrial design’s patent registration is valid for five years. The patent is renewable twice after five-year intervals.

16. All literary, scholarly, artistic, and scientific works can be subjected to a copyright application, regardless if they are published or unpublished works.

17. The copyright application for the above-mentioned works extends to all original multimedia works, databases, and computer programs.

18. A copyright registration is valid for the duration of the author’s life. The copyright remains 50 years after the author’s death.

With a booming BPO industry in the Philippines, many foreign investors flock to this part of the world to capitalize on the country’s young market. These rules on intellectual property can help you run your business smoothly in a foreign country knowing that your work is protected by a stringent set of laws.

If you want to know how to apply or find out your IP rights, you can read:

The Beginner’s Guide to Intellectual Property Laws in the Philippines

Know Your Intellectual Property Rights



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