How is Trademark Infringement Committed
For years, you have spent substantial money, time and effort to develop the reputation of your brand through your trademark. Finally, your hard work paid off and your trademark became popular with the consumers. Alas, you suddenly discover that someone else is using your trademark to make it appear that their products are the same as yours. Worse, they charge lower than you. Thus, your sales dip as your customers buy from them instead of you. What do you do in this situation?
This is a classic case of trademark infringement. Under Republic Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (“IP Code”), trademark infringement refers to the act of any person who shall, without the consent of the owner of a registered trademark, use in commerce, reproduce, counterfeit, copy or imitate a registered trademark or a dominant feature thereof.
Suing for Trademark Infringement
In this regard, one of your remedies is to file an administrative complaint for trademark infringement before the Philippine Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”). You may file a verified Complaint for trademark infringement with the IPO within four (4) years from the date of commission of the violation, or if the date be unknown, from the date of discovery of the violation. Please note that the IPO will have original jurisdiction over the case if the total damages claimed are NOT less than P200,000.00.
The filing fee is P15,150.00 (P19,392.00 if you are a big entity) PLUS 1/10 of 1% of the damages claimed in excess of P500,000.00. After filing, the IPO will require the Respondent to file his Answer within 10 days from receipt of the summons. Once the issues are joined, the parties will be required to submit a pre-trial brief. A pre-trial conference will thereafter be held.
The presentation of evidence must be completed in two (2) years whereby both the Complainant and Respondent will be given 8 months each to finish the presentation of their respective evidences. Further, they shall be given 2 months each to present rebuttal and sur-rebuttal evidences. It must be noted that judicial affidavits shall be used in lieu of direct testimony.
The IPO may require the submission of a memorandum. Thereafter, the IPO shall decide the case within thirty (30) calendar days from submission.
That is how to sue someone before the IPO for copying your trademark.
About Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices
If you need assistance in enforcing your intellectual property rights or your trademark, we can help you. Nicolas and de Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines. 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 call us at +632 84706126, +632 84706130, +632 84016392 or e-mail us at [email protected]. Visit our website www.ndvlaw.com.