IPOPHL rolls out new electronic filing system

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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has launched its new electronic filing system known as eTMFile, which allows the online filing of new trademark applications and is linked to three different payment channels.

Marlo Carag of the Bureau of Trademarks (left) assists participants as they try the new eTMfile
Marlo Carag of the Bureau of Trademarks (left) assists participants as they try the new eTMfile

With the new online filing system, applicants and IP agents need not go to the IPOPHL to file trademark applications, the agency said.

The launch of eTMFile coincided with the celebration of the World Book and Copyright Day on April 23.

The eTMfile is one of the new initiatives of IPOPHL director general Josephine Rima-Santiago, who assumed the top post less than six months ago.

?The IPOPHL began enhancing its IT systems with the deployment of the Industrial Property Automation System (IPAS) as the new back office system for patents and trademarks in 2012. Now, we are focusing on tools that will modernize electronic transactions with the IPOPHL, starting with the new IPOPHL eTMfile,? Santiago said.

The IPOPHL eTMfile is linked to two other tools ? Asean TMclass, which makes the classification of goods and services much easier, and National IPOPHL TMview, which allows the generation of preliminary search reports that applicants may use as reference prior to filing.

eTMfile also allows the submission of documents such as special power of attorney, request for priority examination, declaration of actual use, together with the online application.

The automated system was developed in collaboration with EU-Asean Project on IP Rights (ECAP III Phase II), a project administered by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

As lead for both information technology and trademarks under the Asean Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC), the IPOPHL has been collaborating closely with the ECAP III Project for the adoption of IT tools that could be used not only by the Philippines, but also by other Asean IP Offices.

Santiago added, ?The IPOPHL eTMfile is the first of two e-services tools that we are deploying this semester. Next in the pipeline is the IPOPHL eDOCfile, an advanced electronic filing system for practically all types of trademark documents, including responses, powers of attorney, various types of declarations, assignments, and enables both the IPOPHL and the applicant to digitally sign documents submitted to the Office.?

The prototype of the IPOPHL eDOCfile was also presented to stakeholders after the eTMfile launch.

The IPOPHL is the first Asean Office to deploy eTMfile and is also expected to be the first to go on production with the eDOCfile in June.

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