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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (“IPOPHL”), in  partnership with the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (“PDRCI”), conducted a Mandatory Continuing Legal Education seminar entitled “MCLE on IP and Arbitration: Enhancing Conflict Resolution on Intellectual Property and Building a Successful Career on IP Arbitration” on 27-29 November and 05-06 December.

Among the distinguished roster of lecturers were partners of Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia’s Intellectual Property Department, Susan D. Villanueva, who spoke on “The Copyright Landscape: Current Issues and Updates on Copyright Law and Jurisprudence”, and Rowanie A. Nakan, who spoke on “Multi-sectoral Relevance of Patent Exceptions, Limitations, and Flexibilities”.

The IPOPHL is promoting arbitration in IP cases as it is a form of dispute resolution that benefits IP owners, rights holders, and users, the courts and IPOPHL.

For rights owners, holders, and users, arbitration is seen as a cost effective and speedy method to resolve disputes. According to IPOPHL Director-General Josephine R. Santiago, “[a]rbitration is emerging as a viable alternative for business players to resolve disputes as decisions, in some cases, can be made in less than a year.”

In addition to the benefit of faster case resolution, PDRCI Assistant Secretary-General Francisco D. Pabilla, Jr. said that parties are increasingly opting for arbitration because of the confidentiality afforded to the proceedings, in contrast to court cases.

Increased adoption of arbitration is also beneficial to the courts and IPOPHL as it would declog dockets and lessen the workload brought by conventional litigation.

In promoting arbitration as a mode of dispute resolution that benefits various stakeholders, Santiago recognizes the need for the proper training of the professionals and sufficient information from the courts and IPOPHL, stating that “[t]his track can only be successful if our stakeholders are ensured that trained and competent IP professionals are available to provide the service provided, and if there is sufficient and sustained campaign from courts and the IPOPHL itself.”

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Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia