The Philippines has announced plans to accede to several IP agreements as part of their plans to get ready for the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. These are:

A. The Nice Agreement on the classification of goods and services in trademark applicationsB. The Vienna Agreement, on the classification of figurative parts of trademarksC. The Singapore Trademark Law Treaty, which harmonizes various trademark prosecution procedures. D. The Hague Agreement. This treaty provides for a centralized design registration system. ASEAN is encouraging its adoption throughout the region.

The Philippines IPO also announced plans to further amend the Intellectual Property Code. The definition of “trademark” will be expanded to include non-traditional trademarks. The Declaration of Actual Use requirement after 3 years will be axed, which will be music to trademark owners’ ears. They plan to have an electronic office action process, to accept credit cards for payment and enable direct printing of trademark certificates from the system.

The Philippines IPO continues to demonstrate leadership in ASEAN, and will no doubt become one of the leading countries in re region for IP harmonization as 2015 approaches.