What can be registered as trademarks in the Philippines?

How is a trademark defined in the Philippines?

Under Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (IP Code), a “mark” is defined as any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods (trademark) or services (service mark) of an enterprise.  Under this definition, a stamped or marked container of goods also qualifies as a trademark or service mark.

Is it necessary to have a trademark registered in the Philippines?

Yes.  The owner of a registered trademark has the exclusive right to prevent all third parties not having the owner’s consent from using in the course of trade identical or similar signs or containers for goods or services which are identical or similar to those in respect of which the trademark is registered where such use would result in a likelihood of confusion.

A certificate of registration of a trademark or service mark is prima facie evidence of the validity of the registration, the registrant’s ownership of the mark, and of the registrant’s exclusive right to use the same in connection with the goods or services and those that are related thereto specified in the certificate.

What may be registered as a trademark in the Philippines?

Anything that qualifies as a “mark” under the definition in the Intellectual Property Code provision referred to above may be registered as a trademark or service mark.

Can colors be registered as trademarks?

The Intellectual Property Code provides that color alone, unless defined by a given form, is not registrable. 

Can shapes be registered as trademarks?

Yes, shapes may be registered as a trademark or service mark but if the shapes are necessitated by technical factors or by the nature of the goods themselves or factors that affect their intrinsic value, they may not be registered as a trademark or service mark. 

What is a collective mark? Can collective marks be registered in the Philippines?

The Intellectual Property Code defines a collective mark as any visible sign designated as such in an application for registration and capable of distinguishing the origin or any other common characteristic, including the quality of goods or services of different enterprises which use the sign under the control of the registered owner of the collective mark.

Collective marks can be registered in the Philippines. An application for registration of a collective mark shall designate the mark as a collective mark and shall be accompanied by a copy of the agreement, if any, governing the use of the collective mark.