20 June 2013

Maintenance of designations of the Philippines in International Registrations

A recent Information Notice from WIPO has, somewhat belatedly, clarified the maintenance requirements for designations of the Philippines in International Registrations.


Some of you may already be aware of these, some may have anticipated they would have been in place and some of you may have been unaware of these maintenance requirements. When news emerged in May last year that the Philippines were joining the Madrid Protocol there was a complete lack of information concerning their (additional) maintenance requirements and the filing of Declarations of Actual Use (DAUs).

It is effectively the same as national applications filed in the Philippines although take note of the timings.

These DAUs are due at three junctures:

1. Within three years of filing the International Registration (application and registration dates being the same)
or
If the Philippines is subject of a Subsequent Designation within three years of the Subsequent Designation recording date by WIPO.

These DAUs must be filed with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (not WIPO), usually for foreigners through a law firm in the Philippines although the WIPO notification also indicates that this can be filed through "the holder’s authorized representative with a local address".

A single six-month Extension of Time can be sought, but likewise these must be requested at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (not WIPO) through a Filipino lawyer (or authorized representative). Please note that an Extension of Time must be explicitly requested; it is not an automatically existing grace period.

2. Between the 5th and 6th anniversary of registration (i.e. local Statement of Grant date) in the Philippines.

Again, these DAUs must be filed with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (not WIPO).

3. Between the 5th and 6th anniversaries of each renewal of an International Registration. Remember that renewals are filed centrally at WIPO, but, again, these DAUs must be filed with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (not WIPO).

Let's take a (fictitious) example:

International Registration No. 123098 filed and registered 19 January 2013
Philippines: Subject of Subsequent Designation on 9 May 2013
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines issues Statement of Grant on 27 February 2014

  • First DAU due 9 May 2016 (three years from "date of filing" in the Philippines; six-month extension possible till 9 November 2016)
  • Second DAU due 27 February 2019-27 February 2020 (5-6 years following local "registration" in the Philippines)
  • Third DAU due 19 January 2028-19 January 2029 (5-6 years following renewal (i.e. on 19 January 2023) of the International Registration)
Trade mark law files within databases will need to be sophisticated to calculate these correctly and vigilance will be important with any docketing/record keeping.

These onerous maintenance requirements may lead many to consider avoiding designating the Philippines within Madrid applications (and file national applications instead). It is a similar consideration when designating the United States, whereby at the outset Madrid applications can be more cost-effective but in the longer term it can represent a false economy when it is not possible, as with national registrations, to combine Use Declarations/Affidavits with renewals because the technical renewal is handled through WIPO.