The Madrid Protocol came into force in the Philippines in 25 July 2012. It became the 85th contracting party, and the 3rd ASEAN member state to become a party to the Madrid Protocol after Singapore and Vietnam.

In the instrument of accession, the Philippines declared that the time limit to notify a refusal is 18 months, except when the refusal results from an opposition received by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). Also, trademark owners who desire to designate the Philippines have to pay an Individual Fee to extend protection to this territory.

IPOPHL has announced that there will be no difference in the substantive examination of applications received by way of Madrid Protocol or by way of national application. In other words, the applications will be examined in the chronology by which they are received and no preference will be given to one type
of application over the other. Moreover, international registrations extending to the Philippines will also be subject to the requirements of a Declaration of Actual Use (DAU). The DAU and the corresponding fees have to be filed with IPOPHL through a resident agent.

With the Madrid Protocol in place, IPOPHL is presently considering amending the current implementing rules and regulations on trademark practice to bring it up to par with the examination of international registrations. Possible amendments include having the registration date retroact to the filing date of the application; acceptance of Class Headings in the Specification of goods / services; and removal of the requirement to enter a Description of the mark prior to registration.

Please expect to receive further updates as the Philippines moves forward with Madrid Protocol.