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.