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CHAN ROBLES AND ASSOCIATES LAW FIRM - Welcome to the Home of the Philippine On-Line Legal Resources
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This web page features a
Brief Background
on the developments in
Intellectual Property Rights in the Philippines.
Brief Background

The Philippine government has made it a State policy to protect and promote intellectual property rights.  This policy was enshrined both in the 1973 Constitution which provides that “the exclusive right to inventions, writings and artistic creations shall be secured to inventors, authors, and artists for a limited period” and in the 1987 Constitution which explicitly mandates that the State shall protect intellectual property.

The Philippines became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO] in 1980.  It was a signatory to a number of significant multilateral international agreements and treaties for the protection and promotion of intellectual property rights.

The first laws protecting intellectual property rights were enacted in the Philippines in 1947, to wit:

   Republic Act No. 165 otherwise known as “An Act Creating a Patent Office, Prescribing its Powers
    and Duties, Regulating the Issuance of Patents and Appropriating Funds Therefor”.

   Republic Act No. 166 otherwise known as “An Act to Provide for the Registration and Protection of
    Trade Marks, Trade Names and Service Marks, Defining Unfair Competition and False Marking and
    Providing Remedies Against the Same, and for other Purposes”.

Subsequent to the foregoing, additional laws were enacted and issuances promulgated to further promote and protect intellectual property rights, to wit:

   Republic Act No. 422 transferring the examination of copyright applications to the Bureau of Public

   Republic Act No. 623 regulating the use of duly stamped or marked bottles, boxes, casks, kegs,
    barrels, and other similar containers;  providing, in the case of foreign applicants, for reciprocity and
    recognition of their priority rights; establishing, in the case of trademarks, principal and supplemental
    as well as interference proceedings;  extending protection of utility models and industrial designs
    under the patent system; and providing, in the case of trademark registration, for reciprocity
    arrangement with other countries.

   Republic Act No. 5434 providing for a uniform procedure for appeals from the decision of
    quasi-judicial officers including the Director of Patents.

   Administrative Order No. 94 [November 20, 1967] creating a committee to review the Philippine
    patent system and recommend amendatory laws to further upgrade it.

   Presidential Decree No. 721 creating the Legal Services Division and the Research and
    Information Division in the Philippine Patent Office. Subsequently, major reorganization of
    the various Divisions was made in the 1980's.  The General Organic Chemistry Division
    and the Chemical Technology Division were merged to form the Chemical Division.  The
    Mechanical-Electrical Division was merged with the Mechanical, Design, Utility Model Division
    and Electrical Division to form the Mechanical and Electrical Examining Division.

   Presidential Decree No. 1263 amending Republic Acts Nos. 165 and 166, granting authority to
    the Philippine Patent Office to increase its fees and to spend a portion of its income for priority
    projects; exempting indigent inventors who filed their application for patent through the Philippine
    Inventor's Commission from all fees charged by the Philippine Patent Office; and shortening
    the period for the grant of a compulsory license from one hundred eighty [180] days to one
    hundred twenty [120] days from the date the petition is filed in cases where the compulsory
    license applied for is on a patented product or process involving  any project approved by
    the Board of Investments [BOI].
   Executive Order No. 133 [February 27, 1987] merging the Philippine Patent Office with the then
    Technology Transfer Board thereby creating the Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology
    Transfer  [BPTTT].

   Executive Order No. 60 was issued in 1993 creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Intellectual
    Property Rights [IAC-IPR] under the Office of the President of the Philippines.
   Department Administrative Orders Nos. 5 and 6 introduced amendments to the Rules of Practice
    in Patent and Trademark Cases and the Rules of Procedures of the Technology Transfer Registry
    effective on March 15, 1993.
   Republic Act No. 8293 otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines was
    enacted and signed into law in 1997.  It took effect on January 1, 1998.


On March  8, 1988, the first issue of the BPTTT Official  Gazette was launched.

In 1992, the Philippine Association of Certified Patent Agents [PACPA] was incorporated thereby recognizing and promoting the patent agent profession in the Philippines.

In the same year, the CD-ROM Version of the bibliographic data of registered Philippine patents was introduced.

In 1993, the Kantor-Navarro Agreement was signed as a result of the negotiations between the Philippines and the United States for the purpose of delisting the Philippines from the Priority Watch List of Countries covered by the Super 301 List under the United States Trade Act.

In October of the same year, the Philippine component of the EC-ASEAN Programme on Patents and Trademarks was officially launched thereby strengthening the capability of Industrial Property Offices in ASEAN to administer their respective patents and trademarks systems and to further facilitate the exchange of patent information among ASEAN members. Under this program, a Patent Documentation Center was established in Cebu in 1994.

In 1994, the patent and trademark search and examination procedures were modernized through the assistance of the European Commission.  Made available were 2 CD-ROM work stations and a complete set of ESPACE CD-ROM containing the abstracts, first page and full text of the applications filed from 1988 to 1994 with the European Patent Office.

In 1995, special courts were designated by the Philippine Supreme Court to hear cases involving intellectual property rights.


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