More IP Protection Filings Expected With Madrid Protocol, Beijing Treaty

MANILA, Philippines - The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) expects more filing for IP protection this year with the country's accession to the Madrid Protocol, the signing of the Beijing Treaty and the implementation of its patent protection incentive package.

IPOPHL Director-General Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor said he expects that overall filings this year will exceed last year's growth of 11 percent.

For trademarks alone, this has grown between 3-4 percent as of end June and expects growth to settle at 7 percent this year. Filings under the Madrid Protocol from the local enterprises could hit over 200 this year while international filings should be higher.

According to Blancaflor, the Philippines is a very significant and very strong market because of the growing middle class with very good taste. This is more conducive for more EU filings for trademark protection.

"We expect more filings from the EU than the US, which is still new under the Madrid protocol," he said.

International firms should also be encouraged filing their trademarks with the Philippines as the office origin because it is cheaper here than in other countries.

Starting July 25 this year, Filipino entrepreneurs can file international trademark applications before the IPOPHL and be recognized in at least 85 signatory countries of the Madrid Protocol in just a single application for a particular classification.

Globalizing Filipino enterprises can take advantage of this opportunity to protect their trademarks abroad, Blancaflor said.

Robin Tomas, a Filipino entrepreneur with an apparel brand "Tomas" and an outlet in New York, is the first to file under the Madrid Protocol.

On the Beijing Treaty, the Philippines is not yet a member with full powers as the Senate has yet to ratify the treaty, but Blancaflor said the agreement, which was concluded on June 26 this year, gives audiovisual performers - actors, signers and other persons are embodied in films, broadcasts and disseminated in the Internet - certain economic and moral rights that would enable them to control the use of their creative works while taking into account the valid interests of producers and the general viewing public.

In addition, IPOPHL also launched the "Juan's Thousand Inventions", a project under the Patent Protection Incentive Package, which seeks to push Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSO) members to protect and commercialize their inventions by waiving official fees associated with patent filings, as well as maintenance fees for the first to 15th year of the patent.

As part of 2012 commitment of ITSOs under this initiative, ITSOs in the Visayas-Mindanao Network committed to file a total of 69 patent applications while the Luzon Network committed a total of 103 patent applications.

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