ChanRobles Virtual law Library

This web page features a
Brief Background
on the developments in
Intellectual Property Rights in the Philippines.

Brief Background

The Philippine government has made it a State policy to protect and promote intellectual property rights.  This policy was enshrined both in the 1973 Constitution which provides that “the exclusive right to inventions, writings and artistic creations shall be secured to inventors, authors, and artists for a limited period” and in the 1987 Constitution which explicitly mandates that the State shall protect intellectual property.

The Philippines became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO] in 1980.  It was a signatory to a number of significant multilateral international agreements and treaties for the protection and promotion of intellectual property rights.

The first laws protecting intellectual property rights were enacted in the Philippines in 1947, to wit:

   Republic Act No. 165 otherwise known as “An Act Creating a Patent Office, Prescribing its Powers and Duties, Regulating the Issuance of Patents and Appropriating Funds Therefor”.

   Republic Act No. 166 otherwise known as “An Act to Provide for the Registration and Protection of Trade Marks, Trade Names and Service Marks, Defining Unfair Competition and False Marking and Providing Remedies Against the Same, and for other Purposes”.

Subsequent to the foregoing, additional laws were enacted and issuances promulgated to further promote and protect intellectual property rights, to wit:

   Republic Act No. 422 transferring the examination of copyright applications to the Bureau of Public Libraries.

   Republic Act No. 623 regulating the use of duly stamped or marked bottles, boxes, casks, kegs, barrels, and other similar containers;  providing, in the case of foreign applicants, for reciprocity and recognition of their priority rights; establishing, in the case of trademarks, principal and supplemental as well as interference proceedings;  extending protection of utility models and industrial designs under the patent system; and providing, in the case of trademark registration, for reciprocity arrangement with other countries.

   Republic Act No. 5434 providing for a uniform procedure for appeals from the decision of quasi-judicial officers including the Director of Patents.

   Administrative Order No. 94 [November 20, 1967] creating a committee to review the Philippine patent system and recommend amendatory laws to further upgrade it.

   Presidential Decree No. 721 creating the Legal Services Division and the Research and Information Division in the Philippine Patent Office. Subsequently, major reorganization of the various Divisions was made in the 1980's.  The General Organic Chemistry Division and the ChemicalTechnology Division were merged to form the Chemical Division.  The Mechanical-Electrical Divisionwas merged with the Mechanical, Design, Utility Model Division and Electrical Division to form the Mechanical and Electrical Examining Division.

   Presidential Decree No. 1263 amending Republic Acts Nos. 165 and 166, granting authority to the Philippine Patent Office to increase its fees and to spend a portion of its income for priority projects; exempting indigent inventors who filed their application for patent through the Philippine Inventor's Commission from all fees charged by the Philippine Patent Office; and shortening the period for thegrant of a compulsory license from one hundred eighty [180] days to one hundred twenty [120] daysfrom the date the petition is filed in cases where the compulsory license applied for is on a patented product or process involving  any project approved by the Board of Investments [BOI].

   Executive Order No. 133 [February 27, 1987] merging the Philippine Patent Office with the then Technology Transfer Board thereby creating the Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer  [BPTTT].

   Executive Order No. 60 was issued in 1993 creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Intellectual Property Rights [IAC-IPR] under the Office of the President of the Philippines.

   Department Administrative Orders Nos. 5 and 6 introduced amendments to the Rules of Practice in Patent and Trademark Cases and the Rules of Procedures of the Technology Transfer Registry effective on March 15, 1993.cralaw:red

   Republic Act No. 8293 otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines was enacted and signed into law in 1997.  It took effect on January 1, 1998.


On March  8, 1988, the first issue of the BPTTT Official  Gazette was launched.

In 1992, the Philippine Association of Certified Patent Agents [PACPA] was incorporated thereby recognizing and promoting the patent agent profession in the Philippines.

In the same year, the CD-ROM Version of the bibliographic data of registered Philippine patents was introduced.

In 1993, the Kantor-Navarro Agreement was signed as a result of the negotiations between the Philippines and the United States for the purpose of delisting the Philippines from the Priority Watch List of Countries covered by the Super 301 List under the United States Trade Act.

In October of the same year, the Philippine component of the EC-ASEAN Programme on Patents and Trademarks was officially launched thereby strengthening the capability of Industrial Property Offices in ASEAN to administer their respective patents and trademarks systems and to further facilitate the exchange of patent information among ASEAN members. Under this program, a Patent Documentation Center was established in Cebu in 1994.

In 1994, the patent and trademark search and examination procedures were modernized through the assistance of the European Commission.  Made available were 2 CD-ROM work stations and a complete set of ESPACE CD-ROM containing the abstracts, first page and full text of the applications filed from 1988 to 1994 with the European Patent Office.cralaw:red

In 1995, special courts were designated by the Philippine Supreme Court to hear cases involving intellectual property rights.

Back to Top   -  Back to Home   -  Back to IPR Index
Since 19.07.98

ChanRobles Legal Resources:

ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review :

ChanRobles MCLE On-line

ChanRobles Lawnet Inc. - ChanRobles MCLE On-line :