Startup Guide: Trademark Registration
Trademarks are assets.
The trademark, such as your logo, represents your brand and the corresponding goodwill your business enjoys with customers, suppliers, and the public.
In fact, if you sell your company, buyers will often make sure that trademarks are registered and/or renewed. It is also good to note that trademark registrations are valid for 10 years.
The Philippines follows the first-to-file rule- meaning, if you are the first to register your trademark, you are entitled to the legal rights.
However, if your trademark is not yet registered, be aware that you are not totally without protection.
Our Intellectual Property Code punishes the crime of unfair competition. This applies if your trademark, whether registered or unregistered, is publicly well-known, and your competitor has intent to deceive the public with their similar trademark.
However, your trademark is better protected if you have trademark registration. This is because you do not have to prove there was criminal intent.
It is enough that that another trademark is confusingly similar to your trademark. You can file a case of trademark infringement if you are registered.
Registration itself is relatively simple. It can be done at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website by filling up the forms with details of the trademark and your company. The entire process can take around 3-6 months.
These are some of the fees you can be expected to pay. This may vary but it costs around P3,850 or so.
|Filing Fee||P 1,200|
|Claim of Color (if your logo has color)||P 280|
|Legal Research Fund||1% of total fee|
|1st Publication Fee||P 900|
|2nd Publication Fee||P 900|
|Certificate of Trademark Registration||P 570|
NOTE: Fees are larger if your company has more than P100 million worth of assets.
It is good to submit your Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) as well. The DAU is a documentary requirement to be submitted to the IPO. Remember it is not enough that you register your trademark but that you actually use it in transacting with the public within 3 years of filing your application.
You can always submit after you get your trademark but it is easier to do it simultaneously.
An IPO official will examine your application and assuming there are no concerns, your application will be published by the IPO.
This is to give opportunity for others to contest your application because it infringes on their registered trademark.
Assuming that there are no opposition, you will be issued a certificate of registration. This will be published to inform the public.
Congratulations! You are now the owner of a registered trademark.
Your brand is now protected against copycats.
You may likewise use your trademark registration to increase the value of your startup.
You may also be interested in the following topics:
Startup Guide: Data Privacy
Startup Guide: Vesting Shares of Stock
Startup Guide: Sole Proprietorship or Corporation
Startup Guide: Employment Contracts
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