Presenting a Declaration of Use (DOU) as well as a Specimen of Use (SOU) for a trademark is mandatory.
If the DOU and the SOU are not presented when required, the trademark will automatically be cancelled, cancelling all rights that the owner has over it.
When will the Declaration of Use (DOU) and the Specimen of Use (SOU) need to be presented?
Both the DOU and the SOU will have to be presented on two occasions and must be signed and notarized:
1. Within the first three (3) years after the date of filing. Notice of the deadline is not necessarily required to be given by the trademark office.
2. A second Declaration of Use and Specimen of Use will need to be presented between the 5th and 6th year after the date of effective registration in order for the trademark to continue being valid.
3. Starting August 2017, an additional DOU will have to be presented within one year from the date of renewal.
* DOUs will have to additionally be presented within one year from the fifth anniversary of each renewal.
What do the Declaration of Use (DOU) and the Specimen of Use (SOU) consist of?
Declaration of Use:
This consists of a statement from the trademark owner indicating when the trademark was first used in the Philippines for the goods or services for which it was filed.
Specimen of Use:
Legal documents and other supporting evidence (e.g. brochures, newspaper articles, product packaging, etc.) that serve as proof that the trademark is being used in the Philippines.
Can an extension of time be requested for a Declaration of Use (DOU) and the Specimen of Use (SOU)?
Yes. An extension of time may be filed only once. The extension must be requested before the original due date. Evidence of use of the trademark collected during the extension period will be considered as sufficient and acceptable by the trademarks office.