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The Philippines’ IP Experts

31 March 2023

The Philippines’ IP Experts

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is targeting a 10 percent increase in intellectual property filings in 2023, expressing confidence that its partners, including universities and other institutions, will help drive more registrations this year, IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba told reporters.  

Barba, in remarks reported by The Inquirer, said that IPOPHL is working with more than 80 Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs), which are partner universities and institutions equipped with in-house patent libraries.  

“We are banking on them to increase the filings, to increase their production of patents, trademarks, [utility models] and [industrial designs],” Barba said. 

He added that they have also revived their flagship program, dubbed ITSO 2.0, to capacitate members to conduct patent information searches, patent drafting, IP application, IP commercialization and IP awareness activities. 

“Going around the Philippines, we see that there are still many universities which are not members of ITSO 2.0,” he said, noting that higher learning institutions were required to have a certain volume of IP filings to retain their membership. 

Barba said the ITSO 2.0 program was also expected to drive up IP awareness through the information drive conducted by their partner universities, The Inquirer said. 

The number of IP applications in the Philippines grew 3.7 percent in 2022, registering a record-high volume of more than 48,000 filings as numbers exceeded pre-pandemic levels. 

IPOPHL said that applications totaled 48,259 last year, higher than the 46,558 filings in 2021. It added that the volume of applications has already exceeded the 47,328 applications in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The strong uptake in 2022 IP filings shows how aggressive businesses are in seizing opportunities in the more upbeat economy and the digitalization of business interactions as intensified by the pandemic,” Barba said in an earlier statement. 

Trademark applications led the growth in 2022, totaling 41,235 and accounting for 85 percent of the volume. Trademarks were followed by patent applications, with a share of 9 percent, with 4,403 applications filed. 

Utility model applications reached 1,386, and registrations for industrial designs were 1,235. 

With this continuing interest in intellectual property protection in the Philippines, we turned to IP professionals in the region in order to understand better what clients need today. Asia IP asked a large number of professionals – mostly in-house counsel and corporate legal managers – what they were looking for from their legal service providers. From their answers, we have compiled our list of The Philippines IP Experts, those lawyers who understand just what their clients need and are able to provide them with the best practical advice.  

The Philippines’ largest IP firms and practices are well-represented on our list, with Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices placing six lawyers on the list; Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia with four; and Quisumbing Torres and Villaraza & Angangco each with three. 

Our survey includes only those lawyers working at law firms in the Philippines. 

Most of the lawyers named to our list have multiple practice specialties. Many of them are litigators, while others concentrate on prosecution work or provide strategic advice.  

All of them have something in common: they are experts in their fields and, in one way or another, they provide extra value for their clients. They are Asia IP’s IP Experts for the Philippines. – GREGORY GLASS 

The Philippines’ IP Experts is based solely on independent editorial research conducted by Asia IP. As part of this project, we turned to thousands of in-house counsel in the Philippines, Asia and around the world, as well as Philippines-focused partners at international law firms, and asked them to nominate private-practice lawyers, including foreign legal consultants, advisers and counsel.  

The final list reflects the nominations received combined with the input of the editorial team at Asia IP, which has more than 45 years of collective experience in researching and understanding the legal market in the Philippines. 

All private practice intellectual property lawyers working at law firms in the Philippines were eligible for inclusion in the nominations process; there were no fees or any other requirements for inclusion in the process. 

The names of our 60 IP Experts are published here. Each IP Expert was given the opportunity to include their biography and contact details in print and on our website, for which a fee was charged. 

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