Trademark FAQs

PRE-FILING

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, a group of words, sign, symbol,or a  logo that identifies and differentiates the source of the goods or services of one entity from those of others.

Why is trademark registration important?

A trademark protects a business’ brand identity in the marketplace. Registration of it gives the owner the exclusive rights to prevent others from using or exploiting the mark in any way.

Aside from functioning as a ‘source-identifier’, the mark may be a source of revenue for the owner in the form of royalties obtained through franchising or licensing of the registered TM for use by others.

Why should I register my trademark immediately?

The Philippine trademark system follows a first-to-file rule, meaning the rights to the trademark is given to the party who first filed for registration of the mark.

What is the FIRST-TO-FILE Rule?

First-to-file rule means that whoever was first to file for registration of the mark, the rights to the trademark is given to that party.

How may I ensure that I am first to file?

The minimum requirements to secure a filing date for a trademark application are:

  1. An express or implicit indication that the registration of a mark is sought;
  2. The identity of the applicant;
  3. Contact details of the applicant or its agent/representative;
  4. A reproduction of the mark; and
  5. The list of the goods or service

Subject to the provisions on priority right, the filing date of an application shall be the date on which the Office received the indications above (either in English or Filipino) and the filing fee.

In other words, a dutifully accomplished application form and promptly paid fees is a must.

What is a PRIORITY RIGHT or a CONVENTION PRIORITY?

A priority right in TM application is a time-limited right arising from a first filing in another country. The subsequent applications will be regarded as if they had been filed on the same day as the first application; that is, they have priority over applications for the same mark filed by others during the six-month period of priority claim. When filing the subsequent application, the applicant must claim the priority of the first application in order to make use of the right of priority.

The Paris Convention, provides the basis for this “Priority Right”, hence likewise called “Convention Priority.”

What types of marks may be registered as a trademark in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, the following are types of marks that may be registered as a TM:

  • Word mark
  • Figurative mark
  • Figurative mark with words
  • 3D mark
  • Stamped or marked container of goods

In any of the above types, generally, the distinctiveness of the mark is the key point of consideration for grant of registration. Note that under the present IP Code (RA 8293), other forms of marks such as sound marks and scent marks are not yet registrable with the IPOPHL.

What may NOT be registered as a trademark?

The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (RA 8293) provides for a negative list or grounds for non-registrability.

See the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, Section 123.

How does the Trademark application process go?

Click the hyperlink for an overview of the trademark application process.

FILING

What are the trademark application requirements?

*Effective 01 September 2020, IPOPHL will only accept TM Applications filed online using the eTM FIle facility. See: IPOPHL MC No.2020-036

Can I file my application in one of the IP Satellite Offices (IPSO)?

No. Our satellite offices are not receiving offices for manual filing but our satellite officers can provide assistance with your online filing.

How to register my trademark?

File an application for trademark registration using eTM File.

For your TM Application guidance, click on the following:

How much is the filing fee of the trademark application?

The basic TM application filing fee depends on the classification of the filer:

  • P1,212 (Small entities with 100M worth of assets or less) 
  • P2,617 (Big entities with more than 100M worth of assets)

Note: Filing Fees are inclusive of 1% Legal Research Fund (LRF). Other charges may apply depending on the progress of your application

Click here for a full Schedule of TM-related Fees.

What are the modes of payment?

Online Payment:

Online payment through Dragonpay.

Choosing how to pay the application is included in the last step of the e-Filing system.

For online payment concerns not within the scope of this FAQ, email: epayment.queries@ipophil.gov.ph


Manual Payment:

Note that, per IPOPHL MC No. 2020-036, only payments of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 100,000.00) and above per transaction shall be accepted at the Main Office. Only a maximum of seventy-five (75) clients or visitors shall be allowed to enter the receiving area per day. IPOPHL receiving and cashiering counters will remain open from Mondays to Thursdays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm only.

For everyone’s safety, please read these very important Advisories related to COVID-19 before you proceed to the IPOPHL cashier, at the ground floor.

How may I get a new Statement of Account (SOA) when my SOA has expired (beyond 7 days for TM application)?

If the SOA has expired, the filer should file their TM application again to have a new due data/expiration date.

When paying through DragonPay, the payment channel (e.g. 711) does not accept my payment because it is beyond the deadline. What can I do to proceed to payment?

Please forward your SOA reference Id and we will give you a new payment link, as long as your SOA is still valid.

What does it mean and what must I do when in the middle of my application, I encounter ERROR messages from the system?

When you encounter an ERROR message, take note of the following:

What was the exact error message?

  • Take a screenshot of the error message

When did the error message appear?

  • in what portion of the system?
  • immediately after what action?

Relay your concern to us via:
Call Center: (02) 7238-6300, or
Email: ask@ipophil.gov.ph

Why do I keep getting an “error” message when uploading a file?

While uploading a file, you may get an error message if:

– the file size is too big; or
– the file is not in required format.

Take note that the system requires jpg format for image files (drawings/logo) and pdf format for document files (e.g. Forms, Requests, Responses)

In eTM file, the representation of the figurative mark should be in JPEG format.

In eDoc File, the document should be in PDF format.

What can I do if I cannot properly select the Class of goods or services using the Nice Classification?

The system has two options:

– “Search” and
– “I want to provide my list”

From the GOODS AND SERVICES button, click SEARCH. Key-in (one at a time) the goods or services to be covered by the TM application and click SEARCH. Then start scrolling down the terms on the right side of the screen. Choose the applicable term/s and click on ADD TERMS at the bottom of the screen

If you encounter problems in “Search,” it is recommended to choose the”I want to provide my list” option, but you have to choose the class number from the screen first before providing your own list by encoding the description of your goods or services. The examiner, will later check or validate the goods or services and the corresponding class.

What does it mean and what must I do when in the middle of my application, I get an “HTTP Status 500” error

The error may have occurred due to an image file that you attached during the application filling out process. If this happens, open the image file in the “Paint” application (or any other jpg image editing app), then resize the image file by “Pixel” (Horizontal: 600). Save the file in jpg format. Try again.

POST-FILING

How will I know if my online application was received by IPOPHL?

An electronic copy of the Statement of Account (SOA) and PDF copy of the application form will be sent to the email account of applicant or agent, in real time.

How will I know the status of my application?

To check the status of your trademark application, visit the Philippine Trademark database.

To aid in your search, you may use the following search fields on the “Search By” portion of the database: the name or Text of the mark, the name of the Applicant/Holder as declared in the application form, or your Application number.

Once you’ve located your TM application from the list that will appear in the search display at the lower portion of the page, locate the column right next to the name of your mark and there you will find the “Status.”

How to maintain a trademark?

To maintain the protection of a trademark, the actual use of the mark in commerce should be exhibited and proven by the mark owner. The exclusive right given to a registered TM owner gives the business a significant edge to the exclusion of others, therefore, there is a responsibility to prove that it is being used.

A Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) is to be submitted to IPOPHL according to the following schedule:

  • Within three (3) years from the filing of the trademark application;
  • Within one (1) year from the fifth (5th) anniversary of the registration of the mark; and
  • Within one (1) year from the fifth (5th) anniversary of each renewal.

As per Rule 204 of IPOPHL MC No. 17-010, a DAU must be submitted for renewed registrations within one (1) year from the date of renewal of the registration. This requirement only applies for registered marks due for renewal on 01 January 2017 and onwards, regardless of the filing date of the Request for Renewal.

What are the requirements for filing of DAU?

In filing for DAU:
– attach proofs or Evidence of Actual Use; and
– pay the corresponding filing fee

What are acceptable Evidence of Actual Use?

RULE 210 of the IPOPHL MC No. 2017-010 enumerates the following as acceptable Evidence of Actual Use:

(a) labels of the mark as these are used;
(b) downloaded pages from the website clearly showing that the goods are being sold or the services are being rendered in the Philippines;
(c) photographs (including digital photographs printed on ordinary paper) of goods bearing marks as these are actually used or of the stamped or marked container of goods and of the establishment/s where the services are being rendered;
(d) brochures or advertising materials showing the actual use of the mark on the goods being sold or services being rendered in the Philippines;
(e) receipts or invoices of sale of the goods or services rendered or other similar evidence of use, showing that the goods are placed on the market or the services are available in the Philippines;
(f) copies of contracts for services showing the use of the mark.

The Director may, from time to time, issue a list of acceptable evidence of use and those that will not be accepted by the Office.

Why do I keep getting an “error” message when uploading a file?

While uploading a file, you may get an error message if:

– the file size is too big; or
– the file is not in required format.

Take note that the system requires jpg format for image files (drawings/logo) and pdf format for document files (e.g. Forms, Requests, Responses)

In eTM file, the representation of the figurative mark should be in JPEG format.

In eDoc File, the document should be in PDF format.

Can I file for 3rd and 5th year DAU at the same time?

No, this is not possible because the 1st DAU should have been filed within 3 years from the filing date of the trademark application; whereas the 2nd DAU should be filed within one year from the 5th Anniversary from the registration date of the trademark.

It should be emphasized that the DAU is a maintenance requirement for the trademark to be valid. Non-filing of the DAU within the prescribed period will mean removal of the TM from the register.

May the 3rd DAU still be filed beyond the deadline without a request for an extension having been duly filed?

No, DAU must be filed within three (3) years from the filing date of the trademark application. A six (6)-month extension period may be granted upon request of the applicant or registrant, provided such request is made prior to the expiration of the three-year period and the required fee is paid.

How do I know if a Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) for my TM was filed at the right time?

Once a DAU is filed, the IPOPHL Trademark database will reflect continued registration of your mark indicated by the status: “REGISTERED”

To check the status of your trademark, visit the Philippine Trademark database.

To aid in your search, you may use the following search fields on the “Search By” portion of the database: the name or Text of the mark, the name of the Applicant/Holder, the TM Registration number and the Date of Registration.

Once you’ve located your TM application from the list that will appear in the search display at the lower portion of the page, locate the column right next to the name of your mark and there you will find the “Status.”

If a DAU is not filed on time, the status will be reflected as “Removed for Non-Filing of DAU.”

How do I know if the Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) that I filed was accepted and when?

If a DAU was properly filed, IPOPHL issues a notice to the Applicant/Registered Agent after the DAU is processed.

How may I know when was the last filing of Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) made?

If a DAU was properly filed, IPOPHL issues a notice to the Applicant/Registered Agent after the DAU is processed.

May I request for a copy of the Registrability Report?

Party requesting can be given a copy if he or she is the applicant or agent on record.

What is a Notice of Abandonment (NOA)?

A Notice of Abandonment is issued if the Applicant/Holder failed to file a response within a prescribed period to an office action sent by the office.

May I request for a copy of the Notice of Abandonment (NOA)?

Notice of Allowance can be given copy if he or she is the applicant/agent on record. If not, he or she should present an authorization.

May I request for a copy of my TM Certificate of Registration (COR)?

If the COR was not received by the registrant, IPOPHL will check if it was Returned to Sender. Once verified, the COR will be reprinted.

We’re working hard to answer your queries, please note that this page will be updated from time to time. Got urgent concerns? Send us a message at ask@ipophil.gov.ph