Businesses should protect their intellectual property. This refers not only to keeping trade secrets safe and getting patents for inventions; but also towards applying or registering copyright or trademark for their logos and names.
Trademark applications are currently being done with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines. Their office address at present is at Upper McKinley Road in McKinley Hill, Taguig; and they’re open from 8AM to 5PM.
A Filipino individual or corporation can directly file their applications. But foreigners and foreign corporations must have a local agent who will file an application with the IPO.
Applying for a trademark will take about 18 to 24 months to complete. Why that long? Because your application will need to undergo numerous examinations, including publication to give anyone a chance to oppose the registration.
So what exactly are the steps that you’d have to do? How does the application process go? How much are the fees?
Trademark Application in IPO Philippines
Step 1: Filing of an application
File an application to the Bureau of Trademarks at the Philippine Intellectual Property Office. You’ll need to submit a list of requirements along with it. A complete checklist is available here.
It used to be possible to file an application online. But the service has not been running or getting errors as of late. Check the IPO Philippines website here to see if it’s now available.
After filing and paying the necessary fees, an examination for completeness of the submitted requirements will be done by the duty officer. Afterwards, you’ll receive your application number.
Step 2: Search and Examination
The Philippine IPO will now search their database for identical trademarks in the market or similar applications that they have. This will take some time, and the usual wait is at least 6 months.
Included in this process is the examination of your trademark to check if it complies with the rules and regulations. Aside from similarity to existing trademarks, it should not also be too generic, deceptive, immoral, or scandalous; among other rules.
Step 3: Publication in IP Philippines Gazette
If the trademark is approved, you will receive a notice and it will now be published in the IP Philippines Gazette. This is to inform the public of the application, and give a chance for anyone to oppose the registration.
Any individual or company can oppose if it violates an existing trademark they have, or if they find it grossly damaging to their reputation or business.
Step 4: Registration
The public is given up to 30 days to take action. If no opposition is received and verified by the Director of the Bureau of Legal Affairs, the Intellectual Property Office will now issue the Certificate of Registration.
The trademark will again be published in the IP Philippines Gazette, which marks its official entry to the records. The certificate is valid of ten (10) years, and can be renewed after.
Again, the entire process will take any time between 18 to 24 months. I know it’s such a long undertaking, but the trademark application isn’t really meticulous.
Moreover, the fees have varied over the years but at present, you’ll spend around P5,000. If you outsource the trademark application to a business services company, you’ll probably spend around P15,000 in total.
Lastly, to make sure that your business name and logos are worth the hassle of applying for a trademark, it should be something that you’ll be proud of; one that represents your ideals and vision for your company.
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