Register the Trademark of your Home Business!

Trademark Brand Intellectual Property

As the pandemic started affecting the country, many Filipinos displayed their creativity by opening their own home businesses. Many families started selling food, goods, and services from the comfort of their homes. While these businesses began operating under extraordinary circumstances, it is important to remember that they are still subject to government rules. More importantly, they remain vulnerable to being copied!

Whether you are designing a wrapper for your baked goods, engraving the company logo on your products, or placing a marketing tagline on your services, chances are, you are making use of trademarks. A mark is any visible sign that is capable of distinguishing the goods (trademark) or services (service mark) of an enterprise.[1] These marks identify the source of the products, linking them to a specific enterprise.

 Once your business starts growing and your products begin earning loyal customers, others could attempt to get a free ride on your brand by copying your mark. We outline below the benefits of registering your mark and the actions you may take against those pesky copycats.

Acquire ownership over your mark. The Philippines adopts a first to file rule on trademark ownership.[2] Our Intellectual Property Code (IP Code) provides that the rights in a mark shall be acquired through registration.[3] Failure to register a mark enables others to register it under their name, making it prudent for businesses to register marks even before putting out  their products or services in the market.

Protect yourself from infringement cases. Trademark registration involves an examination process wherein a trademark that is being applied for is compared to other existing registered marks in the country. If the subject mark is found to be confusingly similar to any other mark, the application is rejected. Otherwise, a certificate of registration is issued. This certificate serves as prima facie evidence of ownership over the mark.[4]

Sue persons copying your mark. The registrant is entitled to the exclusive use of the mark on the goods or services specified in the certificate of registration.[5] Should others use the mark without consent, the registrant may file a criminal case for trademark infringement. Persons who are found guilty of infringement will suffer a penalty of imprisonment from two to five years and a fine ranging from P50,000 to P200,000.[6] Such persons may also be subjected to civil or administrative claims for monetary damages.

Prevent importation of counterfeit goods. A trademark registration may be recorded with the Bureau of Customs in order to ensure that no counterfeit goods bearing the mark would be imported into the Philippines.[7] The Bureau of Customs will issue an alert or hold order on goods that are suspected of infringing upon the registered mark.[8]  

Protect your business by investing on you trademark asset. Register your trademark now!

For questions regarding the article “Register the Trademark of your Home Business!”, email us at [email protected].

Note: The article above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

[1] Sec. 121, IP Code of the Philippines.

[2] Sec. 123, IP Code of the Philippines.

[3] Sec. 122, IP Code of the Philippines.

[4] Sec. 138, IP Code of the Philippines.

[5] Sec. 138, IP Code of the Philippines.

[6] Sec. 170, IP Code of the Philippines.

[7] Customs Administrative Order No. 6-2002.

[8] Ibid.

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Office Address: 111 Paseo de Roxas, UB, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila 1229