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.
The Philippine Trademark Office has issued new forms for trademark applications, declarations of use, renewals, etc. The old forms will only be accepted until December 2016.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) formally adopts the judicial affidavit rule in SEC Memorandum Circular No. 4 (series of 2016). The judicial affidavit rule will now have to be observed in all actions, proceedings and incidents requiring the reception of evidence before the SEC.
After years of languishing in Congress without any progress, President Rodrigo Duterte breathes life to Freedom of Information (FOI) by issuing Executive Order No. 2, which mandates disclosure of information of all offices under the executive branch.
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.
Here are some of the salient points of the amended rules on Inter Partes Proceedings.
1. The period to file a notice of opposition and answer has been extended from 90 days to 120 days, restoring the original period under the previous Inter Partes rules.
2. For opposition documents executed abroad, authentication may be secured after filing of the opposition case provided that the execution of the opposition documents is prior to such filing and that proof of authentication is submitted prior to the issuance of default order or conduct of preliminary conference. Notably, there appears to be no similar provision in respect of authentication of answers. Thus, it apppears that authentication of answers must still be done before their filing.
2. The Hearing/Adjudication Officers is now authorized to issue and sign decisions and final orders. Previously, this authority was reserved only to the Director of Bureau of Legal Affairs and the Committee of Three (in petitions to cancel patents).
3. The decisions or final orders in Inter Partes cases must now be issued within 60 days from the date the case is deemed submitted for resolution.
4. The appeal to decisions or final orders issued by Hearing/Adjudication Officers must be filed with the Director of the Bureau of Legal Affairs prior to the appeal with the Director General of the IPO. This adds another layer to the appeals process.
The Intellectual Property Office has released the amendments to the Implementing Rules and Regulations on Inter Partes Proceedings (IPOPHL Memorandum Circular No. 16-007). The amendments took effect on 29 July 2016.
Television broadcasters and producers of television programs will soon be required to broadcast their programs with subtitles for the benefit of the hearing-impaired viewers as required by The Closed Caption Law. The implementing rules and regulations are to be issued within 120 days from the effectivity of the new law. Content producers should monitor the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations, and how this may affect them.
The Philippine Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed praying for the nullification of the Philippines’ accession to the Madrid Protocol. The Philippines acceded to the Madrid Protocol on 25 April 2012 by way of an executive agreement. This manner of accession was questioned on the basis that the Madrid Protocol is a treaty that requires ratification by the Philippine Senate. Foreign trademark proprietors may now breathe easy knowing that the Madrid Protocol is here to stay. A copy of the decision may be accessed here.