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IPOPHL urges businesses to register trademarks

MANILA, Philippines - The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is urging more local businesses to file applications for registration of trademarks through the Madrid Protocol to be able to protect their brands overseas.

IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor said they would like to encourage more businesses to register their trademarks with the agency under the Madrid system so that the company could be able to protect their brands even in markets outside of the Philippines.

The Madrid system allows a Philippine-based trademark holder to seek registration and protection of the brand here as well as in other signatory countries of the pact. It has more than 80 signatory members.

Blancaflor noted that since the country’s accession to the Madrid Protocol in July last year, the IPOPHL has received 23 applications from local enterprises.

These are equivalent to 131 applications for protection of the brand overseas.

The applicants include religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo, international fashion designer Robin Tomas, dried fruit producer Profood International Corp., and bakery chain Julie’s Bakeshop.

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Apart from simplifying the protection of marks outside of the Philippines, the Madrid Protocol also reduces the cost of registration.

Prior to the country’s accession to the Madrid Protocol, Filipino trademark holders had to file applications in different countries for the protection of their marks abroad.

Filing applications in different countries meant higher costs because it entailed hiring a lawyer in the place where the application was being made.

Blancaflor said that aside from encouraging more Filipino enterprises to file applications for international trademarks, they would also like to see more international brands coming to the country as they see the ease in protecting their marks here given the country’s accession to the Madrid Protocol.

The IPOPHL has received 375 international registrations.

“We hope the multinationals will come on board,” he said.

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