The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (“IPOPHL”) under the Intellectual Property Code of Philippines has revised the Rules on Mediation and published the same vide Memorandum Circular No. 08 (Series of 2018).
The key revisions to the mediation rules, which took effect on 7th September 2018, are as follows:
Commencement: A case filed in any originating bureau or an appeal to the Director General shall be submitted to the Bureau of Legal Affairs’ (“BLA”) Alternate Dispute Resolution Services (“ADRS”) immediately after the filing of the answer or comment to the appeal.
Venue: The mediation proceedings shall be conducted at the IPOPHL offices but may be conducted at any other venue upon the request of both parties, provided the related expenses are borne by the parties as agreed upon.
Mediation Fees: Each party shall pay a non-refundable fee of Four Thousand Pesos. The parties are entitled to have four sessions at a maximum of one hour per session. Parties are entitled to an additional two one-hour sessions subject to payment of extension fee of Two Thousand Pesos by each party.
Failure of parties to appear and/or pay the mediation fees: If the party who initiated the case fails to appear for mediation including the pre-meditation conference and/or fail to pay the fees for mediation on time, the same shall be a ground for dismissal of the case. If the Respondent fails to appear and/or pay the fees then he shall be declared as in default.
Successful mediation: The revised rules provides for a specific time frame of five days within which the ADRS shall refer the compromise agreement to the head of the originating bureau/office, upon successful completion. The originating bureau/office shall within three days approve the draft decision based on compromise agreement reached, which shall then have an effect of a decision of a Court judgement.
Non-settlement of dispute: If the parties are unable to settle their dispute within a period of sixty days from submission of the case to mediation then the Mediator shall declare the mediation as unsuccessful and subsequently terminate the proceedings. However, the said period can be extended for another thirty days upon written request by the parties with the concurrence of the Mediator.