News & Updates

Thinking Outside the Box: Enforcing your IP Rights beyond Philippine courts and IPOPHL

Carlo B. Valerio | Natalie Isabel P. Lim

In the dynamic landscape of global commerce, the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights stands as a cornerstone of innovation and economic growth. As businesses continue to expand and innovate, it becomes increasingly crucial for them to prioritize  IP rights. This includes protecting their brands, inventions, and creative works through trademarks, patents, and copyrights to safeguard their competitive edge, build trust among consumers, and unlock new opportunities in the global marketplace.

In 2023, the Philippines saw a 2.5% year-on-year increase in the country’s overall IP filings. The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (“IPOPHL”) credits this growth to increased awareness of IP and the innovation output of colleges and universities.

As the importance of IP rights continues to be emphasized, individuals and businesses must be vigilant in protecting their creations and innovations. While securing IP rights is an initial step, enforcing, coupled with commercializing the IP asset, will complete the spectrum of IP protection.

The IPOPHL and special commercial courts are the traditional venues for enforcing IP rights. As IP violations and counterfeiting become more complex, IP rights owners are faced with the difficult task of enforcing their IP rights.

However, IP owners must also think outside the box and navigate alternative avenues to enforce their valuable IP rights.

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)

Corporations/partnerships execute an undertaking to change their name upon receipt of notice or directive from the Securities and Exchange Commission that another corporation, partnership or person has acquired a prior right to the use of that name or that name has been declared as misleading, deceptive, confusingly, similar to a registered name. Thus, a trademark or trade name owner may file a Petition for Change of Corporate Name with the SEC should it discover that another corporation/partnership has appropriated its previously registered mark or its trade name.

Department of Trade and Industry (“DTI”)

The DTI protects an IPR Owner by prohibiting the registration of a business name that is registered as trade names, trademarks, or business names by any government agency authorized to register names or trademarks. IPOPHL is an attached agency of the DTI.

Bureau of Customs (“BOC”)

Under Philippine customs rules and regulations, an IPR Owner may request for the recordation of its IPR with the BOC to enable the BOC to monitor and prevent the entry of counterfeit goods in the Philippines. The recordation would put your IPR in the BOC’s radar when they inspect imports.

National Bureau of Investigation (“NBI”) IPR Division/ Philippine National Police (“PNP”) IP Section

NBI and PNP can investigate IPR violations. Filing a complaint with these law enforcement agencies may be an effective deterrent against infringers. 

World Intellectual Property Office (“WIPO”)

A trademark owner whose mark is being misused in a domain name may enforce its IP right by filing a complaint with WIPO under its Domain Name Dispute Resolution mechanism.

e-Commerce IP Policy platform

Most IP infringement is committed online. Increased e-commerce has also paved the way for a thriving avenue for IP infringement. The IPOPHL, however, through its Memorandum of Understanding among e-Commerce platforms, has helped strengthening enforcement mechanisms within this e-Commerce marketplaces. The popular e-Commerce sites in the Philippines with IP violation reporting platforms are listed below:

  1. Lazada;
  2. Shopee;
  3. Zalora;
  4. Temu;
  5. Facebook;
  6. Instagram;
  7. Twitter;
  8. Tiktok and Tiktok Shop; and
  9. Carousell

Offline and online demand letters

Issuing demand letters to alleged infringers, whether from the IPR owner or its  lawyer, is still a viable option as it can save time, cost, and effort aside from avoiding long-drawn-out litigation.

If you wish to know more on how to enforce your IP, you may reach out to our firm’s IP Enforcement team:

Carlo B. Valerio
Email: [email protected]/[email protected]
Mobile: 09176284971

Natalie Isabel P. Lim
Email: [email protected]

Tel. No.: +632 8810 5858
Fax No.: +632 8810 3838