Why and how to register a trademark in the Philippines

In order to obtain trademark rights in the Philippines, the trademark necessarily has to be registered, as it is a strictly “first-to-file” jurisdiction. Only in very special circumstances can previous use of a trademark grant some rights over it, such as well-known trademarks or when the use of the trademark dates back from before 1998.

Trademark applications must be filed via the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPPHL).

The Philippines is also a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.

Use of the trademark prior to filing can help overcome an objection based on grounds of lack of distinctiveness, as extensive and proven use of the trademark in the Philippines can confer it acquired distinctiveness. 

Please note that by default your logo (device) application in the Philippines will be filed without color claim. If you wish to claim color as a distinctive feature of the trademark, please instruct us to do so.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in the Philippines, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. Probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

Once a trademark has been published in the E-gazette, third parties have a timeframe of 30 days to file an opposition against the application. Two extensions of time of 30 days might be requested by an interested third party to extend the opposition period.

It is not necessary for the trademark to be in use for it to register. However, it will need to be in use by the time the third-year Declaration of Use is required. Various Declarations of use will have to be presented during the lifespan of a trademark in the Philippines. For further information regarding this, please see our FAQ section at the bottom of this page.

In the Philippines, trademarks are granted for an initial term of ten (10) years starting from the registration date. They can then be renewed from successive periods of ten years each. The renewal can be requested from six (6) months before the expiration date to six (6) months after it. If the renewal is requested after the expiration date, a late renewal penalty fee will apply. A proof of use will have to be filed along with the renewal request.

 

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