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Trademark Renewal
In Philippines in order to maintain the validity of a trademark registration you must renew it every 10 years. The renewal process is fairly simple, you will need to provide trademark registration details and send us a power of attorney.
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Applications are handled by experienced local Trademark Attorneys to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
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If your trademark application is rejected, our Attorneys will inform you and advise you on the best course of action.
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 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

The average time frame for the registration approval is 8 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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If I register my trademark in the Philippines, do I have protection in other territories?

No. The mark is protected only in the Philippines.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

Yes. A signed power of attorney is one of the application requirements.

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Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

Yes. A mark that was used prior to registration is qualified for legal protection if consumers can easily recognize the mark as being owned by the applicant. If another person tries to apply for its registration, it will be considered as application in bad faith. Pre-filing use also serves as a prima facie evidence of the mark’s distinctiveness. This will help the applicant overcome oppositions based on non-distinctiveness.

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Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

Yes. It will result to automatic cancellation.

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What are the types of trademark that can be registered in the Philippines?

Marks or signs that are graphically reproducible and can make a good or service distinguishable from others are accepted for registration. 

  • Names
  • Words
  • Slogans
  • Colors
  • Devices
  • Trade dress
  • Shapes (3-dimensional)
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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in the Philippines?

The sequence of the application procedure is as follows: 

  1. Examination – The trademark office will examine the application with regards to:
    • Formalities
    • Classification
    • Clarity
    • Descriptiveness
    • Distinctiveness
    • Deceptiveness
    • Conflict with earlier filed registrations
  2. Publication – The filing details will be made accessible to the public through publication in print and online.
    • Mark
    • Goods/services
    • Name and address of applicant
    • Citizenship and country of incorporation of applicant
    • Date and number of application
    • Trademark representation
  3. Registration – The trademark office will grant the registration once the prosecution is over and all oppositions are won.
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What type of trademark is non-registrable?

Applicants are not permitted to apply for the registration of any of these marks: 

  • Marks that contradict principles of moral or marks that oppose public order
  • Generic words
  • Non-distinctive marks
  • Surnames
  • Names of geographic locations
  • Marks that cannot be interpreted visually such as taste, smell, or sound
  • Marks that include flags, symbols or names of international organizations, nations, states or regions
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Does the Philippines use the "Nice Classification" system?

Yes, the Nice Classification System is used in this jurisdiction. A single application is sufficient for multiple classes of goods / services. The applicant can also submit an individual application for each class, if necessary.

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Is there any possibility to claim priority in the Philippines?

Yes. Applicants are allowed to use the filing date in their home country as the filing date in the Philippines if: 

  • Their home country is a Paris Convention signatory
  • The filing date in their home country is within 6 months prior to the filing date in the Philippines
  • Their home country is a WTO (World Trade Organization) member
  • The international registration can be based in the Philippines
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What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

To satisfy the requirement, the mark must be used: 

  • within 3 years from the date of filing
  • within 5 years from the date the registration was issued
  • no 3-year gap between each use during its term
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Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

The initial term of its validity is 10 years from the registration date.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal will take place 10 years from the date when the registration was granted.

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Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

It is illegal to use an unregistered trademark for the following: 

  • Toiletries
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Tobacco products
  • Industrial chemical products
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Does having a registered trademark in the Philippines afford me any right?

Registration is the only way to secure ownership rights to a trademark.

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What is the web address of the trademark national office?

The national trademark office of the Philippines is available at: https://www.ipophil.gov.ph/

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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

No. There is no need to use the mark before it can be applied for registration.

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What are the grounds for a Trademark Application to be opposed?

Grounds for opposition include: 

  • Identical or confusingly similar to a internationally known trademark
  • Unauthorized use of national insignia or protected emblems
  • Company name rights
  • Conflict with moral standards or issues with public policy
  • Geographical indication in the mark
  • Generic mark
  • Personal name rights
  • Registered design rights
  • Trade name rights
  • Registration under representative’s name instead of the proprietor
  • Use of protected armorial bearings, state emblems or flags
  • Well-known mark rights
  • Breach of copyright
  • Proprietary rights
  • Functional, misleading, disparaging, deceptive or descriptive marks
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Who can contest my trademark registration?

Interested party, owner of an earlier right, and a licensee can oppose the registration.

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Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Yes. A registration may be cancelled on these grounds: 

  • Unsatisfied use requirements under Section VIII.A
  • Bad faith
  • Prohibited marks
  • Use of mark in deceptive manner
  • Inclusion of a protected emblem or badge
  • Conflict with morality or public order
  • Geographical indication
  • Generic mark
  • Conflict with a personal name
  • Conflict with a registered design
  • Conflict with trade names
  • Registration under a different name such as agent or representative of the proprietor
  • Conflict with a notorious mark
  • Breach of copyright
  • Functional, misleading, deceptive, disparaging, not distinctive, or descriptive mark
  • Proprietary rights
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Yes. Registration is the only way to secure these rights: 

  • Exclusive right to use the mark
  • Right to oppose later conflicting applications
  • Right to request for an action to cancel later conflicting registrations
  • Right to take a legal action against third parties for infringing the mark
  • Right to take payment from third parties due to infringement
  • Right to authorize or license third parties to use the mark
  • Right to request for seizure of counterfeit goods bearing the mark
  • Right to request for a judicial order restraining third parties to use the mark
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period starts on the publication date and ends 30 days after that date. The challenger may request for a 30-day up to a 90-day extension period from the publication date.

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Is the Philippines a member of the Madrid System?

Yes. The Philippines is a Madrid Protocol member.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

Yes. Periodic statements of use are mandatory. The owner is mandated to submit a DAU (declaration of actual use) within 3 years from the date when the application was filed. Failure to do so will result to automatic cancellation.

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When should I renew my trademark?

The mark must be renewed every 10 years.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal will take place 10 years from the date when the registration was granted.

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Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

Yes. These documentations are required: 

  • DAU (declaration of use)
  • Power of attorney
  • Petition for renewal (with signature)
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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

The mark is still renewable within six months after its expiration date.

Basic Questions
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies a company’s products and services and distinguishes them from those of its competitors in the market. The name (the verbal element) is not the only component of a trademark—figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors, and sounds also create an identity that can be protected by trademark registration.

With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services, and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this trademark symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this service mark symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?

You can lay claim to your work in many ways. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection to intellectual property owners. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or services from others in the market.

patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.

You cannot patent an idea alone (otherwise we’d all be doing it). You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to an existing problem.

Copyright protects all types of original published, performed, and printed creative works of art, literature, and music. It prevents people from using, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted works without the permission of the artist, author, composer, etc. Types of work covered by copyright protection include:

  1. a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
  2. b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
  3. c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
  4. d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
  5. e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

 

Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are all examples of ways you can protect your intellectual property. Your rights to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.

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What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?

The symbol of a circled letter R after a trademark name or graphic image means that the preceding trademark has been registered. Various typographic symbols indicate copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but the best practice is to use circle‑R or circle‑C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.

  • TM: The TM or trademark symbol indicates an unregistered trademark for one of 34 different classes of products. Owners use this symbol to claim the preceding name or logo as the Trademark of their product.
  • SM: The SM or service mark symbol is similar to the TM symbol except it indicates a claim to a mark for a service (one of 11 classes of service) rather than a tangible product.
  • ®: Use the ® symbol once you’ve registered your trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
  • ©: Use the © symbol to indicate copyrighted material. The copyright notice should appear on the material as Copyright © followed by the date the work was created, the copyright owner’s name, a period, and finally “All Rights Reserved.” Like this: Copyright © 2021, John Smith. All Rights Reserved. Use it whether the copyright has been registered or not.
  • Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe best describe your business activity. 

Countries around the world have standardized 45 classes (34 for products and 11 for services) for international use under the Nice International Classification.

These classes group all known products and services. If applicable, you can register the same trademark in more than one class; for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23 and register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is, therefore, possible for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. If you feel that protection should extend to include more than one class, you can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business.

You can search for your trademark class with this Trademark Class Search tool.

Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? 

Too many people use a name without knowing whether or not they have the legal right to do so. They organize massive marketing campaigns with names they later find they’re not allowed to use. Performing a comprehensive search before deciding which trademark to register is a wise thing to do, especially when you consider future risks of litigation.  

It is a good idea to carry out some research before starting to do business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  The other company may object to you using the trademark and legally prohibit you from doing so.

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Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?

No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you seek professional help. Our company offers a Comprehensive Trademark Study service. The Study gives you details of the classes in which you might want to register your trademark; it also lists identical and similar trademarks, and finally, you get an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you know a little about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend that you hire a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially the trademark search because the process is complex and relatively time consuming.

Please note that if you don’t manage to complete the application process correctly, the registration can drag on for several months and end up costing far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace, given the increasing number of unregistered and common law trademarks. Globalization also raises the question of entering international markets and registering trademarks in foreign countries to protect both your brand and your property rights.

Please note that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not necessarily guarantee your trademark will be accepted and registered. A  Comprehensive Trademark Study includes an extended review process and, more significantly, a formal evaluation of the likelihood that your application will be successful.

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