How to Register for Intellectual Property in the Philippines
How to Register for Intellectual Property in the Philippines

A Complete Guide to Intellectual Property Registration in the Philippines

Reading Time: 5 mins 42 secs

As an entrepreneur diving into the business landscape in the Philippines, producing novel and innovative services and products is the bread and butter for many. That said, you must familiarize yourself with the relevant intellectual property laws existing in the country.

Doing so enables you to protect your products, inventions, and literary creations, claim appropriate rights over them and avoid infringement, illegal duplication or reproduction of copies, and unwarranted claims.

Moreover, it can serve as a check-and-balance process when creating new products and services. This allows you to avoid unwanted conflicts with existing brands that may have rights over specific innovations.

The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines

Enacted into law on January 1, 1998, the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8293) aims to protect the intellectual and industrial property rights of individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses in the country.

The law came into being in order to protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists, and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creation. Moreover, the Philippine government saw the need to establish an effective industrial and intellectual property system, which is vital to developing the economy.

The State recognizes Intellectual property (IP) as a fundamental human right and defines such as:

“the right to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests resulting from authorship of scientific, literary, or artistic productions.” (Article 27, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

It is also supported under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, stating that:

“…particularly when beneficial to the people.” (Article XIV, Section 13)

Government Agency Responsible for IP in the Philippines

The governing body of intellectual property rights in the Philippines is the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). They are responsible for regulating, administering, and managing intellectual property rights in the Philippines.

Depending on your desired IP protection, other government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) can also be involved with administering and managing relevant IP rights.

The Different Types of IP Rights in the Philippines

In the Philippines, there are six categories under the intellectual property code that allows enterprises to register and protect the product and services of their business. The categories are as follows:

  • Patent
  • Utility Model
  • Industrial Design
  • Trademark
  • Copyright

Commonly Registered IP Rights for Businesses in the Philippines

The most common categories registered for IP rights in the Philippines are Patent, Trademark, and Copyright. Owners can register their creations and claim them as intellectual property.

Patent Rights in the Philippines

An invention patent is a government-issued grant providing exclusive rights to an inventor over products or processes that provides any technical solution to a problem in any field of human activity.

Patent Benefits

A patent provides exclusive rights to the inventor over their creation, allowing them to exclude others from making, using, or selling the product while the patent is active. Owners can also permit or license other parties to use their invention on mutually agreed terms.

Moreover, they have exclusive rights to sell their invention rights to other parties or individuals, effectively making them the patent’s new owner until its duration ends.

Eligibility for Patent

The IPC provides three conditions before granting an invention or product to become patentable. To qualify for this grant, the product must be new, inventive, and industrially applicable.

Term of Protection

Patents are valid for 20 years from the filing date of the application. In its fifth year, the patent must be maintained and renewed annually.

How to Apply for Patent Rights

Generally, these are the steps you must follow to acquire a patent in the Philippines:

  • Accomplish three copies of the Patent Application Form
  • Attach the following document:
    • Specification and description of the patent:
      • The Title
      • A brief statement of its nature and purposes
      • A brief explanation of the drawings, if any
      • Complete and detailed enabling description
      • Distinct and explicit claims or claims which the applicant seeks to be protected
      • Abstract of the invention
    • Drawings of the invention
  • Submit the documents and pay the relevant fees to the IPOPHL Cashier

Trademark Rights in the Philippines

A trademark is a work, a group of words, signs, symbols, logos, or a combination that identifies and differentiates the source of the goods or services of one entity from those of others.

Trademark Benefits

Securing a Trademark for your business allows you to distinguish your brand from competitors. It protects a business’ brand identity within its respective industry and grants the owner exclusive rights to the mark. This prevents other entities or individuals from using or exploiting the same.

Owning a trademark can also open your business to other sources of income through franchising or licensing.

Eligibility for Trademark

To be eligible for a Trademark, your business must be free of any grounds for non-registrability as stated under Section 123 of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (IPC). Generally, any business is entitled to registration, and registration prevention is forbidden so long as they are free of the non-registrability criteria.

Term of Protection

Generally, the protection period covers up to ten years from the date of registration and is renewable for ten years. Moreover, a trademark can be protected in perpetuity if regularly monitored, renewed, and maintained by the businesses.

How to Register for Trademark

To obtain a trademark for your business successfully, you must submit the following documentary requirements and register with IPOPHL. The steps are as follows:

  1. Use the IPOPHL Trademark Search database to check if your desired trademark is still available
  2. Accomplish two copies of the Trademark Application Form
  3. Attach the drawing of the mark
  4. Submit the documents and pay the relevant fees to the IPOPHL Cashier

Remember that a Special Power of Attorney is required if a trademark agent or representative processes the application.

Copyright Rights in the Philippines

Copyright is a legal protection extended to the owner of the rights in an original work, which refers to intellectual creation in the scientific, literary, or artistic form. The IP Code automatically protects the literary and artistic works of authors, artists, and other creators.

Although registration for copyright is unnecessary – depending on your industry – authors, artists, and other owners may file for copyright registration of their work.

Copyright Benefits

The creators of works protected by copyright hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the work on agreed terms.

Owners registering their works with IPOPHL can hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use their work with relevant premises and terms. Moreover, such can permit or prohibit its reproduction in all forms, including

  • print form;
  • sound recording;
  • public performance and communication to the public;
  • broadcasting;
  • translation into other languages; and
  • adaptation, such as from a novel to a screenplay for a film.

Eligibility for Copyright

Owners are eligible for copyright if they deposit and register their works under IPOPHL. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Novels, poems, and plays
  • Reference works, newspapers, and advertisements
  • Computer programs and databases
  • Films, musical compositions, and choreography
  • Paintings, drawings, and photographs
  • Sculpture and architecture
  • Maps and technical drawings

To get more insight into the works covered by copyright, you can refer to the IPOPHL Copyright Reference Book.

Term of Protection

The validity of copyright protection generally extends during the author’s lifetime, with an additional 50 years succeeding the owner’s death. However, different rules may apply depending on the type of work, such as:

  • Single Creation. The creator’s lifetime and for 50 years after their death
  • Joint Creation. The lifetime of the last surviving author and 50 years after their death
  • Anonymous or Pseudonymous Work. 50 years from the date the work was first lawfully published. If unpublished, the period is 50 years from the making of the work. If the author’s identity is revealed or is no longer in doubt, the rules on Single and Joint Creation shall apply, as the case may be.

How to Register for Copyright

Individuals who are seeking to secure copyright for their works must apply for a copyright deposit with IPOPHL. Here are the following requirements for copyright registration:

  • Download and accomplish one BCRR Transaction Form (Registration Form)
  • Once completed, send the requirements to copyright_registration@ipophil.gov.ph.
    • When sending your request, ensure to fill out the following:
      • Email subject line, write: Request for Copyright Registration_ (Name of Applicant)
      • Ex: Subject: Request for Copyright Registration_Juan dela Cruz
  • Pay the required fees online
  • Wait for your Copyright Certificate, which will be sent either through courier (hard copy) or email (eCertificate).

Secure the Appropriate Rights for Your Creations

Familiarizing yourself with relevant intellectual property laws in the Philippines can help ensure that your products, services, or works are legally protected under the law. Doing so enables you to venture and expand your craft or business confidently while staying ahead of your competition.

Obtaining the property IP rights for your works can be challenging. If you find these processes exhaustive, you can contact business consulting firms to guide you through the relevant IP rights applicable to your creation or business.

Register Your Creation for IP Rights With Ease

Our full suite of experienced business consultants and specialized legal counsels allow us to provide end-to-end corporate solutions to help determine the appropriate IP rights applicable to your business, product, or service.

Author

  • Admin

    InCorp Philippines (Formerly Kittelson and Carpo Consulting) provides consulting and assistance to local and foreign companies starting and doing business in the Philippines. Our main areas of expertise are incorporation, business registration, fda, immigration/visas, payroll, human resources, and recruitment.

Leave a comment

Contact Us