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The Philippines is one of the fastest growing countries in Asia and foreign companies do their utmost to take advantage of its English speaking talent pool.
At the same time, the middle class grows fast and the demand for imported products just continues to increase. More and more companies now see the Philippines as a lucrative market for offline and online sales.
Naturally, we see a stronger demand for trademark registrations in the Philippines. As we both know, entering a foreign market without necessary protection can be risky and costly.
Therefore, I decided to write this article where I explain how you can register a trademark in the Philippines.
Topics covered in this article:
- How do I register a trademark in the Philippines?
- Requirements for trademark registration in the Philippines
- IPO Trademark application form
- Searching for a trademark
- Cost to register a trademark in the Philippines
- Time needed to register a trademark
- Renewal of trademark registration Philippines
How do I register a trademark in the Philippines?
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) manages all the applications and registrations of trademarks.
The process is straightforward and locals can register trademarks directly with the IPO. Foreigners, on the other hand, need work with a local agent to manage the registrations. With a local agent, I mean a company that has an office in the Philippines.
In total, there are five main steps from the time you contact an agent until your trademark is registered:
- Filing of your application
- Pre-examination and corrections (if needed)
- Examination and trademark search
- Publication in the Gazette (Bulletin)
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1. Filing of your trademark application
You should work closely with your trademark agent and make sure that you’ve prepared all the documents necessary. Check the documents carefully, as a correction might result in delays to start the application process.
The filing of the application should be done in either Filipino or English to the Bureau of Trademarks, which is located at the IPO (see address in the end of this article).
Unfortunately, you can’t file the application online, for some reason, as there have been problems with IPO’s website lately. You can check the website yourself at: www.ipophil.gov.ph.
Hopefully, this will be resolved within the near future.
After you’ve submitted your application, the Bureau of Trademarks will start the official examination and do a trademark search.
2. Examination and trademark search
The same as it goes in other countries, the bureau will search the database to see if the trademark is registered, or currently being registered. You can do a simple trademark search yourself on Wipo’s website and see all the registered trademarks.
During this time, the bureau will also check that your trademark complies with local regulations and follow the standards. For example, it cannot be immoral or deceptive. In addition, it cannot be in conflict with a well-established trademark.
If you don’t meet the criteria or don’t meet the regulations, your trademark application will be rejected.
So how long time does it take?
This process is a bit lengthy and can take up to 6 months, as there’s a wait list.
3. Publication of the trademark in the Gazette
As in many other Asian countries, like Hong Kong and Australia, your trademark will be published in the Gazette, if it’s approved. During this time, other individuals or companies can oppose your trademark registration for up to 30 days, if they find it necessary.
If you haven’t heard the name Gazette before, it’s often called the Bulletin in English speaking countries.
4. Registration of your trademark
If no one opposes your trademark, a Certificate of Registration will be published in the Gazette. The trademark will now be valid for up to 10 years, with a possibility of renewal.
Requirements for trademark registration in the Philippines
I recommend you to talk with your trademark agent regarding the requirements to register a trademark. To summarize, you need to provide the following information in your signed trademark application:
- The name of the applicant
- Contact information
- Information about the resident agent/authorized representative
- Address for service of correspondence in the Philippines
- A copy of the mark
- Information about the mark
- Goods and/or services covered by the application
- Claim for convention priority (if needed)
IPO Trademark application form
You can find the trademark application form here. Seek help from your agent to fill out the form. Make sure that the form is filled out correctly, to avoid any delays.
Searching for a trademark
You can search for a trademark on Wipo’s website. However, keep in mind that you’ll also need to do a more through trademark search with the help of an agent.
How much does it cost to register a trademark in the Philippines?
The trademark search will set you back around USD 100-150, while the application will cost you around USD 650 – 700.
How long time does it take to register a trademark?
The application and registration period can actually everything between 1.5 – 2 years. By comparison, a trademark registration takes around 12-24 months in China and around 7 months in Australia.
Renewal of a trademark registration
You can renew your trademark for an additional period of 10 years. The application for renewal should be made at least 6 months before expiry, or within the grace period of 6 months after the expiration.
In the later case, you’ll need to pay an extra fee.
Intellectual Property Office (IPO) office address
If you want to visit the IPO in person, you can go to: Upper McKinley Road in McKinley Hill, Taguig
Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Opening hours
IPO is normally open from 8AM – 5PM. But give them a call in advance, just to be sure.
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