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IPOPHL to offer fast track for patent applicants

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THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said it will soon offer a fast-track lane for trademark applicants to comply with the Ease of Doing Business law’s mandatory timeline.

In a statement, IPOPHL said its Joint Examination Track procedure will allow a trademark to be granted “much quicker” than the typical eight-month period over the past five years.

Director-General Josephine R. Santiago said the fast-track procedure will require the formation of a group of senior examiners who “will immediately decide on a mark’s registrability on absolute grounds.”

“If it’s allowed by the JET examiners, the trademark application will be published for 30 days to accommodate any opposition. If there is no opposition, it will be deemed registered on the 31st day,” Ms. Santiago was quoted as saying.

Currently, the process for the application of a trademark begins with acquiring a filing date, which follows the submission of requirements and payment to IPOPHL.

The application then undergoes a substantive examination to determine registrability in accordance with the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines or Republic Act 8293.

The IPOPHL has said it has engaged in consultations with the Department of Trade and Industry draw up a provision in the EoDB law’s implementing rules and regulations to accommodate the patent registration process.

Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business law was signed in May and ordered three, seven and 20 days of turnaround for simple, complex, and highly-technical transactions, respectively.

The law was intended to fast-track frontline transactions such as business registrations and permit applications, though several agencies have noted that some of their transactions require longer processing times.

“We will comply with the Ease of Doing Business law, insofar as applicable without sacrificing quality outcomes. And the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and our obligations under international agreements and treaties are there to ensure this,” Ms. Santiago said.

“IP practitioners have always been our staunch partners. We need to strengthen these partnerships in a time when Filipinos should be using the IP system to be globally competitive in their products and services,” she added. — Janina C. Lim