Region: Philippines


In the Philippines, the rights to a mark are acquired through registration under the IP Code. Nevertheless, the owner of an unregistered trademark can file an action for unfair competition with reference to the passing off of the goods or business of one party as the goods or business of another with the intention of deceiving the public.

18 September 2015

Too well known for its own good, Apple fails to block MY/PHONE in the Philippines

In a trademark case which has attracted attention in the local media, the IP Office of the Philippines has dismissed an opposition filed by Apple against a Manila company’s attempt to register MY/PHONE. The tenor of press coverage provides yet another example of the challenges faced by a mega-company enforcing its brand against a local ‘David’.

05 June 2015

Multi-agency IP taskforce supports IP rights holders in enforcement activities

The establishment of the National Committee on IP Rights, a multi-agency IP taskforce, is proving very helpful to IP rights holders in conducting enforcement activities. The committee shows how a national IP office can take on the multi-agency problem of IP enforcement and provide a usable solution.

14 May 2015

Philippines moves ahead with IP reforms for ASEAN Economic Community

The Philippines has announced its intention to accede to several IP agreements, including the Nice Agreement and the Vienna Agreement, as part of its plans to get ready for the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. The Intellectual Property Office also announced plans to further amend the Intellectual Property Code.

06 November 2014

EAGLE case - the setting of the cement wars?

A series of disputes concerning the EAGLE trademark for cement appears to be coming to an end. The Bureau of Legal Affairs, confirming that registration is only a presumption of ownership, held that the evidence clearly showed that Republic Cement and Lloyds Richfield had coined, appropriated and used the mark on cement products before Eagle Cement adopted and filed applications for the same mark for use on identical goods.

21 March 2014

Supreme Court: registration creates only prima facie presumption of ownership

The Supreme Court has held that German corporation Birkenstock was the true and lawful owner of the mark BIRKENSTOCK, despite the existence of the earlier device mark BIRKENSTOCK. The court held that registration, by itself, is not a mode of acquiring ownership of a trademark - it merely creates a <i>prima facie</i> presumption of ownership.

06 February 2014

Supreme Court decision puts an end to 20-year-old dispute

The Supreme Court has put an end to a 20-year-old dispute between a French cookery school and a Philippine restaurant over the use of the mark CORDON BLEU. The restaurant, as first registrant, had successfully opposed the registration of CORDON BLEU by the cookery school, but the Supreme Court held that first registration must be by the legitimate owner of the mark.

06 December 2013

'Suspicious' Court of Appeals decision highlights risks of going to court

In a dispute between Araneta Center Inc and the owner of the domain name ‘’, the Court of Appeals has ruled, in what some commentators are calling a ‘suspicious’ decision, that Araneta Center was not entitled to sue in the Bureau of Legal Affairs because it was a domestic corporation.

19 November 2013

New rules on trademark use introduced

The Philippines is somewhat unique in Asia in having strict use requirements for trademarks. New trademark rules now clarify several areas: for example, online use is clearly defined to be valid proof of use, and use of some goods in a class is sufficient to maintain the registration for the whole class.

23 July 2013

New opportunities for brands as the Philippines joins the Madrid Protocol

The Filipino IP Office (IPOPHL) announced last week that the Philippines has joined the Madrid Protocol - the 85th country to sign up to the agreement. According to IPOPHL, accession to the protocol will help to make the Philippines globally competitive and ease costs for Filipino companies doing business overseas.

01 June 2012

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