News & Updates

Philippine Intellectual Property Office’s 2022 Rules and Regulations on Geographical Indications (“GI Rules”) Paves the Way for Increased Visibility and Funding for Traditional and Indigenous Philippine Products

Since the release of the Philippine Intellectual Property Office’s Rules and Regulations on Geographical Indications in 2022, the world-famous Guimaras Mango has officially become the Philippines’ first Geographical Indication due to the combined efforts of the Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Development Cooperative and the European Union . This development, according to the IPO, is also meant to benefit the agricultural and handicraft sectors in the Philippines and promote traditional and indigenous Philippine products.

The GI Rules define a geographical indication as any indication which identifies a good as originating in a territory, region or locality, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and/or human factors.

Under the GI Rules, Indigenous cultural communities or Indigenous Peoples refer to a group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by others, who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial, occupied, possessed, and utilized such territories, sharing common bonds of language, customs, traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenous religions and cultures, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos.

Enhanced protection afforded under the GI Rules may be acquired through registration and a certificate issued by the IPO. Any person with a duly registered GI shall have the right to prevent third parties from engaging in any misleading acts, such as use of any means in the designation or presentation of a good that indicates or suggests that the good in question originates in a geographical area other than the true place of origin in a manner which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the good.

Applications for registration may be made by: (a) producers or producers’ organization or association representing stakeholders directly involved in the extraction, production, or manufacture of the goods covered by the geographical indication; (b) government agencies or local government units having area of responsibility covering the geographical origin of the goods, as well as representatives of foreign governments relative to the GIs of its nationals; and (c) organizations or associations or indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples which are specifically entrusted with the task of regulating and/or protecting GIs.

Once a GI is determined to be entitled to registration and protection, it is protected for an unlimited term unlike other intellectual property rights, unless its registration is revoked or otherwise cancelled. The registration of a GI shall be revoked if, among other grounds, there has been a change in the geographical origin of the goods including the natural and human factors which are determinative of the quality, reputation or characteristics of the goods bearing a GI and such change results in disqualification, or if the registered GI has been proven to be generic for, or a common or customary name of the goods covered by the GI in the Philippines prior to the grant of protection.

The GI Rules may be accessed through this link.