In business, it is important that your target market is able to identify you and your business enterprise apart from your competitors. One of the tools used to separate you from all others is the use or a brand, logo or trademark. A trademark is one of the most important assets of a business.
A trademark can be a word or name, logo or device, or a combination of both. A three-dimensional shape of the actual product or packaging can also function as a trademark that can identify your business enterprise. The Philippine Intellectual Property Code or R. A. 8293 is the main embodiment of intellectual property law Philippines and which law has defined what can be registered as a trademark in the Philippines.
Section 121 of the IP Code defines a trademark as “any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of an enterprise and shall include a stamped or marked container of goods.
Your trademark may be registered through the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines by filing an application for the registration of the mark directly with the IPO office. The requirements for a trademark application are as follows:
- Image of the trademark to be applied for registration.
- Name/s and address/es of the applicant/s;
- Citizenship of the individual applicant/s or country of incorporation of the corporate applicant;
- Class/es and description of goods and services covered by the trademark applied for;
- Signed Power of Attorney appointing a Philippine resident agent or representative;
- If that mark is in color, the colors claimed by the trademark;
- If the trademark application claims priority to an earlier filed foreign trademark application, the details of such trademark application.
There is no need to have the signed Power of Attorney notarized or legalized. For the class/es and description of goods and services covered by the trademark application, the Philippines uses and follows the Nice Classification . One trademark application may cover multiple classes of goods and services.
After filing the trademark application requirements, the applicant will be given a trademark application number and the application will be examined by the trademark examiner assigned. The trademark examiner will check if the trademark application is distinctive and that there are no identical or confusingly similar marks filed or registered earlier than the trademark application filed. If so, the trademark application will be allowed and then published on the IPO Electronic Gazette. If no opposition is filed by a third party, then the trademark application will be submitted for approval of registration and once approved, the corresponding Certificate of Trademark registration will be issued.
The entire application process may take six (6) months to ten (10) months. It may be longer should the trademark examiner issue office actions which must be responded to.