IPOPHL to roll out green lane for trademark applications

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is set to roll out a “green lane” for trademark applications that will slash the average processing time for registration, which currently takes about eight months to be approved.

In a statement on Tuesday, September 25, IPOPHL said it will implement the Joint Examination Track (JET) procedure for trademark applications, which was inspired by the best practices from the European Intellectual Property Office.

“We will soon implement the Joint Examination Track procedure, where a group of senior examiners will immediately decide on a mark’s registrability on absolute grounds (Sec. 123 of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines),” IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago said.

“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,” Santiago added.

She added that the IPOPHL is beefing up its manpower by requesting additional plantilla positions from the Department of Budget and Management for more lawyers, as well as patent and trademark examiners.

The JET procedure will not cover the examination of marks based on relative grounds, such as the possibility of confusion due to similar marks, which will still need to undergo the regular trademark examination, she clarified.

An increase in trademark filings has notably driven up applications for intellectual property protection in the first quarter of 2018.

Trademark applications in Q1 2018 increased by 12.6 percent to 8,400 from 7,463 in Q1 2017, IPOPHL data showed. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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