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New streamlined process for resolving IP disputes seen boosting small firms

TRADE Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

TRADE Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the revised rules of procedure that will streamline the intellectual property dispute process will provide a boost to small businesses and aid in the economy’s recovery.

“The Revised Rules signal a whole-of-government advocacy in empowering our people to contribute to our country’s national and socioeconomic progress through the development of their Intellectual Properties (IPs),” he said in his message at the launch of the rules, hosted by the Supreme Court.

“Thus, we are confident that these Revised Rules will aid our industries, inventors, artists, designers, creators, as well as our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (in maximizing) the benefits of their IP rights,” he added.

Mr. Lopez also said that the revised rules “will foster a legal atmosphere that will spur creative activity and innovation, technology transfer, and foreign investment.”

The new rules took effect on Nov. 16.

Mr. Lopez said the new process is important because many businesses, particularly MSMEs, were significantly affected by the pandemic.

He also noted that the pandemic accelerated the digital shift, citing the number of online businesses registered, which totaled 86,000 in the year to date from 1,700 in March.

“With IP as a catalyst for our country’s growth, we believe that the Judiciary’s activities on IP rights will enhance the government’s efforts to accelerate our economic recovery,” he said.

Rowel S. Barba, director-general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), said the new process is timely because technology is “being used and abused to commit counterfeiting, piracy, infringement and other forms of IP rights violations,” an environment he called “more challenging than ever.”

“The Revised Rules drafted with the valuable inputs from the courts, law enforcement agencies, the IPOPHL, practitioners, IP stakeholders and members of the Supreme Court, has certainly taken into account the numerous logistics, legal and operational challenges,” he said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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