Nicolas and De Vega Law OfficesPhilippine Law on Trademarks

The Philippine Law on Trademarks

Republic Act No. 8942, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (“IP Code”), defines a mark as “any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods (trademark) or services (service mark) of an enterprise and shall include a stamped or marked container of goods”. In order to function as a trademark, it must be visually perceptible or at least capable of being represented graphically. Examples of signs which may be trademarked are:

  • words;
  • numerals;
  • names;
  • signatures;
  • ideograms;
  • letters;
  • slogans;
  • acronyms;
  • designs;
  • portraits;
  • figures;
  • characters;
  • logos;
  • three dimensional shapes embodied in packaging, wrappings, etc.;
  • animated signs;
  • holograms;

colors embodied in a certain shape or form

What Cannot be Registered as a Trademark

It must be emphasized that not all signs can be classified as trademarks. The following marks cannot be registered as trademarks:

  1.  Names contrary to public order or morals;
  2. Those liable to deceive the public as to the nature of the enterprise;
  3. Those already used by another entity or any use thereof will likely lead to confusion;
  4. Those identical to another mark which has already been registered or has an earlier filing or priority date;
  5. Those identical to well-known marks
  6. Misleading marks
  7. Marks which are immoral, deceptive or scandalous;
  8. Those which disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols or bring them to contempt or disrepute;
  9. Flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the Philippines or other countries; and

Names of people without their written consent.

Function of a Trademark

The traditional function of a trademark is to point out the source or origin of the goods or services.  However, in view of the current crowded marketplace, trademarks have evolved as assets which represent the company’s image, reputation and identity. As an asset, a trademark is property that is worth a lot of money.  In fact, in 2019, the trademark Amazon has been classified as the most valuable brand in the world with a brand value of US$221 Billion, followed by Google which is worth US$160 Billion Dollars. These marks are further trailed by Apple and Microsoft with brand values of US$140 Billion and US$117 Billion Dollars, respectively. The importance of a trademark is one which must not be underestimated by a prudent businessman.  As an asset, it deserves protection.  Register your trademark now!

About Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices

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].