IPO Permits Priority of Action and Examination for Trademark Applications for Marks used or to be used on Goods and Services meant to Combat the COVID-19 Virus
The Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-045 on 04 December 2020, amending Rule 601 of Memorandum Circular No. 17-010, otherwise known as the “Trademark Regulations of 2017”.
Rule 601 of the Trademark Regulations of 2017, which prioritizes the examination and registration of certain marks, was amended by adding subparagraph (i) which reads:
RULE 601. Order of Examination; Priority of Action. — xxx
Priority of action and/or examination may be granted upon petition under oath with payment of fees and upon approval by the Examiner to trademark applications falling under any of the following:
x x x
- Marks used or to be used on pharmaceutical preparations and vaccines for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 and other pandemics or public health emergencies; personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical use or purpose such as face masks, face shields, gloves and laboratory gowns; medical and laboratory apparatus and equipment; sanitizers and disinfectants; scientific and laboratory services; and medical services.
Under the amendment, priority of action and/or examination may be granted to trademark applications for marks used or to be used on goods and services meant to combat COVID-19 virus and protect humanity. These goods and services include the following:
- Pharmaceutical preparations and vaccines for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other public health emergencies;
- PPEs such as face masks, face shields, gloves and laboratory gowns;
- Medical and laboratory apparatus and equipment;
- Sanitizers and disinfectants;
- Scientific and laboratory services; and
- Medical services
This amendment is intended to address the continuous development of goods and services brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants who wish to apply for priority of action and/or examination to their trademark applications for marks used or to be used on the cited goods and services must file a petition under oath with the IPO and pay the necessary fees.