Author: John Cabilao

Andre is my Valentino…

And that is enough explanation to thwart an opposition (IPC No. 14-2011-00402) filed by Valentino S.P.A. according to the Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Intellectual Property Office. Valentino S.P.A., the owner of the VALENTINO mark, opposed an application for the mark “Andre Valentino”. According to the applicant, “Andre” was the name she used when she began her business and “Valentino” commemorates the day she began her business, I.e., Valentines Day. Never mind the fact that the mark completely appropriates the element “VALENTINO”. Assuming that the applicant came up with the mark in good faith, surely consumer confusion should be given more consideration becasue of the use of the name “VALENTINO”. 

FDA Practice Update

The Firm welcomes the addition of Atty. Kathleen May O. Clareza as among its associates. Prior to joining BCCS Law, Atty. Clareza was a Special Investigator III of the Legal Department of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As part of the legal team of the FDA, her responsibilities included, among others, the enforcement of the rules and regulations of the said agency. Being a member of the legal team, likewise, exposed her to the different centers of FDA. Her previous stint with the FDA boosts the FDA practice of the Firm. The Firm’s FDA practice has been thriving in recent years and the intimate knowledge of Atty. Clareza of relevant FDA rules and regulations will be instrumental to the Firm’s FDA related advice and services. 

IPOPHL Fees Update

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has removed the entire section on discounts extended to online filings of applications in its new schedule of fees that will take effect on 1 January 2017. Informal inquiries with officers of the IPOPHL revealed that the section was purposely deleted as it is the intention of IPOPHL to no longer extend such discount. Thus, online filings of applications will be assessed the same application fee as manual filings made before the IPOPHL. 

IPOPHL Revises Fee Structure

The Philippine Intellectual Property Office (IPOPHL) will increase its official fees effective 1 January 2017. To minimize costs in pursuing intellectual property rights protection before the IPOPHL, we recommend filing any applications that are in the pipeline before the end of the year. For more information on the revisions, you may click this link.

FDA issues Product Recall Guidelines

The FDA recently issued Guidelines on Product Recall of health products, placing overall responsibility of conducting product recalls with the Market Authorization Holder (MAH).  In particular, MAHs are responsible for providing an appropriate product recall strategy and implementing the same.  The Guidelines also created a Product Recall Committee whose principal functions are to review “triggers” for product recall, issue recall resolutions and monitor recall implementation.

Can copyright subsist in a useful article?

Since copyright subsists from the moment of creation without any formality requirement, it is easy for someone to claim copyright ownership over an object with artistic features. 
 
In the case of Sison Olaño, et al. vs. Lim Eng Co, G.R. No. 195835, the Supreme Court explained that a hatch door is not an artistic work within the meaning of copyright laws, but is intrinsically a useful article, which, as a whole, is not eligible for copyright.  The only instance when a useful article may be the subject of copyright protection is when it incorporates a design element that is physically or conceptually separable from the underlying product.  
 
To illustrate, a belt, being an object utility with the function of preventing one’s pants from falling down, is in itself not copyrightable but an ornately designed belt buckle which is irrelevant to or did not enhance the belt’s function hence, conceptually separable from the belt, is eligible for copyright as sculptural work with independent aesthetic value, and not as an integral element of the belt’s functionality.  In the same manner, a table lamp, being a functional object intended to provide illumination in a room, is not copyrightable.  The general shape of a table lamp is not copyrightable because it contributes to the lamp’s ability to illuminate the reaches of a room.  However, a lamp base in the form of a statue of male and female dancing figures of semi vitro us china is copyrightable as a work of art because it is unrelated to the lamp’s utilitarian function as a device to combat darkness.  

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