How to Get a Trademark

Trademark maybe necessary when you start, market, promote your business.

What is a trademark?

A trademark may be a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or a combination of these to distinguish the goods or services of one trader from those others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusing similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark.

When you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the Philippine Patent Trademark Office (PPTO). However, you may use the registration symbol "®" only after the PPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending. Also, you may use the registration symbol with the mark only on, or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the trademark registration.

Before designing and applying for a trademark, a search of the official trademark records must be completed to identify if trademark is available for use. If the trademark is available, you muct then apply for registration.

Applying for Trademark Registration

1. Submit a Request for Registration with the list of goods or services for which the registration is sought, a reproduction of the mark to be registered and the payment of the filing fee to the Bureau of Trademarks (BOT) of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

2. An examiner will check if the mark can be registered. Under the IP Code, it cannot be registered if:

(a) the trademark is identical with a registered mark belonging to a different proprietor or a mark with an earlier filing or priority date;

(b) the trademark is identical with, or confusingly similar to, or constitute a translation of a mark which is considered by the competent authority of the Philippines to be well-known internationally and in the Philippines, whether or not it is registered here, as being already the mark of a person other than the application for registration, and used for identical or similar goods or services; or

(c) the trademark consists of the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the Philippines or any of its political subdivisions, or of any foreign nation, or any simulation thereof.

3. If the application fails to meet the requirement, the Bureau shall inform the applicant of the reason for refusal/rejection. The applicant can then file an opinion and/or amendment to the application as required within one month from mailing date of the notice; otherwise, the application shall be considered withdrawn.

4. If the examiner finds no reason for refusal of the application, the examiner grants the trademark registration. Otherwise, the examiner gives a decision for refusal.

5. The application is published in the IPO Gazette to give chance to the public to oppose the registration of the trademark by petition with the IPO Bureau of Legal Affairs. The period to file an opposition is one (1) month from the date of the publication. If no opposition is filed within the said period and upon payment of the required fee, the Certificate of Registration will be issued.

Filing Fees (in the Philippines)
Small Entity* Php 838.30
Big Entity** Php 1,676.60

* Small Entity. Any natural or juridical person whose assets are worth Twenty Million Pesos (Php 20M) or less; or any entity, agency, office, bureau or unit of the Philippine government including government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities and colleges and government-owned or government-run schools.

** Big Entity. Any natural or juridical person other than the small entity is presumed to be big entity unless a written statement to the contrary is submitted by such natural person or the duly authorized representative of such juridical person.

Other Requirements for Trade mark Registration: (for trademark, trade name and/or service mark application)

1. A completely filled-out trademark application form (3 copies)
2. Drawing of the mark

  • 2.1 For Informal Drawing: (to be submitted upon filing of TM application)An actual LABEL, ARTWORK, COMPUTER PRINTOUT, or any reproduction of the mark sought to be registered 2 reduced photocopies.
  • 2.2 For Formal Drawing: (to be submitted during the examination/prosecution of TM application) Drawing of the mark sought to be registered on a Bristol Board; size: 297 mm x 210 (A4) plus 2 photocopies.
  • 2.3 Small facsimile of the Drawing: size: 70 mm x 35 mm: one on Bristol Board plus 9 photocopies.
Here is a video how to register a trademark in USA:

Bureau of Trademarks
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO)
IPO Building, 351 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Tel Nos. (632) 752-5450 to 65
Web site:

Source: Business Line, Vol. 2 No. 4 2004 Issue

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