If you are interested in filing a trademark application in the Philippines or wish to protect your business brand or trademark, it is quite tempting to undertake the task on your own. As a businessman, saving on costs is a primary concern. Consequently, most businessmen fall into the trap of prosecuting their trademark applications on their own without the necessary expertise and skill. As such, more often than not, the trademark applications are refused, rejected or abandoned due to the lack of knowledge of the businessman in properly prosecuting his trademark application.
It bears great emphasis that sometimes, in our attempt to cut corners, we actually end up spending more money, time and effort. Such is the case of trying to lodge a trademark application without the pertinent knowledge and skill. The prosecution of a trademark application is not a simple process. Once does not get a trademark registration by simply filing an application. The applications undergoes trademark search, examination and publication. Hence, it is not ministerial for the Trademark Examiner of the Philippine Intellectual Property Office to grant registration to any trademark application.
Hence, if you feel that you do not have the expertise to lodge your own trademark application, you may seek the services of a trademark agent. A trademark agent is someone who is authorized to file and prosecute your trademark application. Thus, you do not have to worry about responding to the Registrability Reports of the IPO, pay the fees of the IPO and maintain your trademark registration, if you have a trademark agent. The task of the trademark agent is to undertake all these responsibilities and allow you to do other things worthy of your attention. In fact, once you appoint a trademark agent, the IPO will correspond with your trademark agent directly. Hence, you will not be needlessly subjected to stress by receiving correspondences from the IPO.
Moreover, if the Trademark Examiner issues a Registrability report and initially rejects your trademark application, your trademark agent will know how to properly traverse the objections of the trademark examiner. Therefore, you have stronger chances of having your application approved.
Even if your trademark is registered, there are still maintenance requirements that must be complied with over the ten year period. Your trademark agent can monitor the deadlines and remind you or attend to these requirements. It must be borne in mind that failure to comply with these maintenance requirements will result in the automatic removal of your trademark in the registry. Hence, you might lose your trademark registration.
In choosing a trademark agent, you must ensure that the trademark agent is knowledgeable in Philippine intellectual property laws. Beware of those who pretend to know trademark prosecution. There are many of them and are just out for a quick buck. Once they have received your payment and your application is refused, they cannot anymore give you any relief.
It is recommended that you choose a law firm or law office that is duly accredited by the Philippine Intellectual Property Office as a resident representative or trademark agent. These accredited law office have lawyers who specialize in trademark law. Moreover, these authorized law offices have been working with the Philippine Intellectual Property Office for quite some time. Hence, you are assured that you are dealing with legitimate offices who possess the necessary expertise. Remember, NOT all lawyers know how to practice trademark law. There are only a handful of lawyers and law firms who specialize in intellectual property law, including trademark law.
At the end of the day, choosing to engage a trademark agent is a business decision. In doing so, let us not forget the usual rudiments of business. Price should not be the primary concern. As with products whereby a cheap price equates to poor quality, the same goes for services. If the price is too low, the do not expect good quality of rendition of services.
Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a duly accredited resident representative and trademark agent by the Philippine Intellectual Property Office (IPO). You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also e-mail us at [email protected] . For more information, please visit our website www.ndvlaw.com