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Month: October 2023

Navigating the New Soundscape: Understanding IPOPHL’s Groundbreaking Circular on Rights of Sound Performers and Producers

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has unveiled a pivotal legal update with Memorandum Circular No. 023, S. 2023. This circular explicitly addresses the Implementing Rules and Regulations concerning the Rights of Sound Performers and Producers of Sound Recordings, providing a detailed framework for intellectual property rights in the audio and music industry.

Anchored in Section 13, Article XIV of the Philippine Constitution, the circular fortifies the State’s commitment to protect the intellectual property rights of artists and other creative citizens.

This circular is not limited in its ambitions; it covers a comprehensive array of rights and obligations, from the right to reproduction to distribution and public performance.

One striking provision is the introduction of a right to remuneration for both sound performers and producers when their work is broadcasted or communicated to the public. This is a monumental shift, as it directly addresses the financial aspects of intellectual property in sound recordings and performances.

The circular also articulates specific limitations on exclusive rights. For instance, it provides exemptions for uses related to news reporting, educational activities, and public performances that are not meant for commercial gain. This nuanced approach ensures that the law does not stifle creativity and public discourse.

A noteworthy inclusion is the robust anti-piracy measures that the circular introduces. These measures give both sound performers and producers more substantial legal footing to combat unauthorized use and distribution of their work.

This update is a game-changer for sound performers and producers alike. It not only provides a legal framework for protecting their intellectual property but also includes specific clauses that could have immediate financial benefits. Both parties should acquaint themselves with these new guidelines to fully comprehend their new rights and responsibilities.

The Importance of IP Due Diligence in Mergers and Acquisitions in the Philippines


In the complex world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), intellectual property (IP) assets often emerge as critical factors that can make or break a deal. In the Philippines, where IP laws have their unique set of complexities, understanding the nuances is even more crucial. This article aims to provide an in-depth look into how to conduct IP due diligence in the Philippine context during an M&A transaction.

Intellectual Property Inventory

Creating a complete inventory of the company’s IP assets is the foundational step. This includes identifying all patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets that the company owns or licenses. The inventory serves as a roadmap, helping both parties understand what is at stake. Accurate valuation and strategic planning can only occur when you know exactly what IP assets are involved.

Ownership and Control

Clarifying ownership and control of IP assets is the next critical step. Many deals have fallen apart because of misunderstandings or conflicts over IP ownership. All IP assets must be either legally owned or controlled by the company. Pay special attention to any joint ownership arrangements and understand how they impact control and revenue sharing. It’s also essential to consider IP owned by subsidiaries, as these can significantly affect the transaction’s value and complexity.

Compliance and Regulation

Being compliant with both local and international laws is not just a legal necessity but also a valuation factor. Always check the IP assets’ standing with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and other relevant bodies. If the IP has international reach, make sure it complies with the laws of those jurisdictions and international treaties.

Financial Assessment

A detailed financial assessment of IP assets is non-negotiable. This includes obtaining professional valuation reports, understanding the revenue streams tied to the IP, and recognizing the costs of maintaining these assets. Knowing the financials in and out can offer insights into the return on investment and help to structure the deal better.

Litigation and Risks

Uncovering any ongoing or past litigation related to IP assets is essential. Any legal issue can not only diminish the IP’s value but can also bring reputational risks. A thorough risk assessment should be conducted to identify potential challenges or vulnerabilities in the IP portfolio. Knowing these risks upfront can help in making an informed decision.

Agreements and Contracts

Reviewing all existing agreements and contracts related to the IP is crucial. This includes licensing agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and employee contracts that specify IP ownership. These documents can significantly impact the revenue streams, control, and overall value of the IP assets.

Future Prospects

It’s not just about the present; one must also consider the future. Understand what IP is currently in development and how it aligns with the acquiring company’s future strategies. Additionally, it’s essential to assess any plans the company has for leveraging this IP for market expansion or penetration into new domains

Understanding the impact of Memorandum Circular No. 2023-001, S. 2023 on motion marks in the Philippines


Intellectual property laws are continually evolving to adapt to the dynamic nature of innovation and branding. In this context, the Philippines has taken a significant step forward with the issuance of Memorandum Circular No. 2023-001, S. 2023. This new circular replaces previous guidelines and notably includes explicit recognition of the registrability of motion marks, providing a robust framework for brand owners and legal practitioners.

Significance of the new circular

The advent of Memorandum Circular No. 2023-001 brings about a welcomed update to the intellectual property landscape in the Philippines. While prior guidelines offered a foundation for dealing with motion marks, especially those with varying representations like still images and video files, the new circular broadens this scope. It explicitly acknowledges the registrability of motion marks, thereby enhancing the legal mechanisms available for their protection.

Practical implications

The formal recognition of motion marks in the new circular has practical ramifications for brand owners seeking diversified avenues for brand protection. Now, with explicit guidelines in place, brand owners can have more confidence in registering and protecting their motion marks in the Philippines. The circular provides a much-needed layer of legal clarity, enabling a more standardized approach to the registration and defense of these dynamic forms of trademarks.

Descriptive clarification

The new circular also maintains the emphasis on clear identification between different types of motion mark representations. If a motion mark is applied for using a sequence of still images, the guidelines suggest that a descriptive text may be required to clarify the subject matter. This provision serves as an additional tool for achieving specificity and alignment between varying representations of a motion mark.

Global context

The updated guidelines set forth by Memorandum Circular No. 2023-001 are not only significant domestically but also have implications on a global scale. As Philippine brands look toward international markets, and as foreign brands consider entry into the Philippines, these standardized guidelines could serve as a catalyst for a more harmonized approach to intellectual property rights concerning motion mark.

The issuance of Memorandum Circular No. 2023-001, S. 2023 marks a progressive step in the Philippines’ intellectual property regime. By explicitly recognizing the registrability of motion marks, it fills a crucial gap in the previous guidelines, providing brand owners and legal professionals with a more comprehensive and clear framework. As we move further into an era characterized by dynamic and multimedia-centric branding, these updates signify a positive and timely development in Philippine intellectual property law.