EU welcomes PH accession to Madrid Protocol
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Local businesses have gained a critical advantage with the Philippines’ membership to the Madrid Protocol, as this could help industries in their efforts to gain a significant foothold in the global arena.
The Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol) is a system that facilitates the filing of trademarks in more than one country using a single application.
Ambassador Guy Ledoux of the European Union, in welcoming the Philippines’ accession to the Madrid Protocol, noted that this move will allow Filipino brand owners to secure their business rights through trademarks in key export markets.
In his speech on Wednesday, Ledoux stressed that intellectual property is a key to any modern economy. Thus, making use of the registration of trademarks under the Madrid system can be a “boost to the business sector to more easily expand abroad, especially in creative industries [like the Philippines, which] has many promising players.”
Ledoux pointed out that Filipinos do have an appetite for trademarks as registration between 2005 and 2011 more than doubled to 6,500 from 3,200 registrations.
“Not all of them will be used internationally but given this country’s overall ambition to penetrate international markets, including with genuine Filipino products, making sure its trademarks are protected definitely helps,” he said.
According to Ledoux, accession to the Madrid Protocol will assist Filipino companies going global, as they can now readily extend protection of their marks to other countries party to the Madrid Protocol.
“This makes international trademark protection more accessible, not only to larger Filipino corporations, but also to small and medium enterprises. It encourages Filipinos to think big, allowing the opportunity for their products and services to enter into the global market with comfort of conferral of IP rights,” he said.
The extension of IP protection, Ledoux explained, facilitates investment, and thereby stimulates the economy, with positive flow-on effects to the Filipino people, including greater choice and access.
With appropriate enforcement of IP rights, the number of counterfeits on the market can also be reduced.
Finally, overseas companies are more likely to invest money in the Philippines, as it is now much simpler and also cheaper for them to obtain protection for their trademarks, he added.
The Philippines is the 85th country to join the Madrid Protocol as announced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the UN specialized agency responsible for protection of intellectual property rights.
In a statement, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) director general Ricardo Blancaflor noted that “joining the regime can be seen as opening the door to Filipino trademark owners registering abroad.”
IPOPHL is anticipating numerous applications from trademark owners when it starts to accept the international application under Madrid Protocol on July 25 this year. Amy R. Remo
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