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14 May 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.

19 November 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.

01 June 2012

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.

14 October 2009

Supreme Court stubs out Tabacalera's infringement claims

In Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas v Tabaqueria de Filipinas Inc, the Supreme Court has held that consumers were unlikely to be misled into buying Tabaqueria de Filipinas Inc's cigars instead of Tabacalera's. Among other things, the court pointed out that the products of both parties were sold under different trademarks.

09 March 2009

IP lawyers call for removal of the Philippines from Special 301 list

A group of high-ranking IP lawyers in the Philippines has called for the removal of their country from the United States Trade Representative's Special 301 list.

23 October 2008

Green Cab Pizza held liable for infringement of YELLOW CAB PIZZA mark

The director general of the Intellectual Property Office has upheld a decision of the Bureau of Legal Affairs in which the latter had found that Green Cab Pizza Haus was liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Among other things, the director general held that Green Cab sought to free-ride on the goodwill associated with Yellow Cab Pizza Co's trademark.

25 July 2008

Conviction overturned in JOLLIBEE Case

The Court of Appeal has overturned a 2007 decision in which it had affirmed the conviction of Richard Chua for violation of the Intellectual Property Code. Among other things, the court held that since Jollibee Food Corporation's goods did not compete with Chua's footwear, use of the JOLILBEE mark by Chua was unlikely to mislead consumers into thinking that Chua's footwear originated from Jollibee.

21 January 2008

Stiff prison term imposed for imitating JOLLIBEE logo

In People of the Philippines v Chua, the Court of Appeals has not only affirmed the conviction of the defendant for violation of the Intellectual Property Code, but also increased the prison term imposed by the trial court to an indeterminate sentence of two to five years. Among other things, the court held that the defendant's JOLILBEE trademark "practically duplicated" Jollibee Food Corporation's JOLLIBEE mark.

05 April 2006

USTR credits Philippines for effective enforcement of IP rights

The United States Trade Representative's Office has removed the Philippines from the priority watch list of countries that do not properly enforce IP rights and placed it instead on the ordinary watch list under the Special 301 Review. The move recognizes the Philippines government's attempts to enforce IP rights properly.

13 February 2006

IP reform driven forward by Supreme Court

Responding to an increasingly urgent need for the Philippine judiciary to adapt to the unique legal issues presented by IP rights, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has approved two proposals issued by the country's Intellectual Property Office: (i) the provision of specialized training on intellectual property to court personnel, and (ii) the establishment of courts that will focus solely on cases involving intellectual property.

17 October 2005

Nationwide inventory of IP cases ordered

The Department of Justice in the Philippines has ordered all its prosecutors nationwide to provide an inventory of all pending IP cases to facilitate the coordination of government agencies in the country's campaign against counterfeiting and piracy. The data gathered will allow the Intellectual Property Office to obtain an overall picture of the state of progress of this campaign.

30 March 2005

Rolex clocks up win despite non-competing business use

In Montres Rolex SA v Rolex Plastic Manufacturing Corporation, a court in Quezon City has ordered a local company to drop the internationally well-known trademark and trade name ROLEX from its corporate name. The court stated that although the local company was using ROLEX for a non-competing business, consumers were likely to associate it with Montres Rolex SA.

29 September 2004

McDonald's swallows up BIG MAK infringer - at last

In McDonald's Corporation v LC Big Mak Burger Inc, the Philippine Supreme Court has ruled that (i) the mark BIG MAK for hamburgers infringes McDonald's BIG MAC mark for the same goods, and (ii) the use of packaging similar to that of McDonald's constitutes unfair competition.

17 September 2004

GALLO marks for wine and cigarettes to coexist, rules court

In Mighty Corporation v E & J Gallo Winery, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has struck a blow against the owners of internationally well-known marks by holding that the use of the mark GALLO for tobacco products does not infringe the GALLO mark for wine.

16 June 2004

Philippine company ordered to drop Rolex name

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered a Philippine company engaged in the manufacture and sale of various types of scientific equipment to remove the term 'Rolex' from its registered corporate name. It held that Montres Rolex SA's rights in the ROLEX mark and trade name should be protected not only against unauthorized use on products but also against appropriation by unrelated companies.