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IPOPHL Joins TMview

Issued: April 30 2015

On March 23, 2015, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines marked a milestone in the international intellectual property arena as it became the 38th IP office that integrated TMview with its trademark search facilities. TMview is an all-in-one trademark search tool that covers trademark data from all participating IP ofices around the world. With the addition of the Philippines’ roughly 325,000 trademarks, TMview now provides information and access to almost 25.3 million trademarks free of charge. Since the introduction of TMview on April 13, 2010, the tool has served more than 12.1 million trademark searches from 151 different countries. Searchers from Spain, Germany and Italy are among the most frequent visitors.

 

It is good for the Philippines to join TMview, because it gives trademark applicants transparency in dealing with the trademark bureau, lawyers say. “Instead of second-guessing our prosecution work as trademark agents, our clients can readily check what we have accomplished by merely going online,” says Bayani Loste, a partner at Fortun Narvasa & Salazar in Manila. “More importantly, our clients can easily conirm the validity of our strategy in protecting their marks against possible infringers and trademark squatters by looking periodically at TMview.”

 

Companies that plan to have their trademarks registered abroad no longer need to consult individually the websites of the different trademark ofices participating in the TMview in order to conduct trademark search.

 

With such ease, law irms might lose some revenue from doing searches, but fortunately, the amount is insignificant. “TMview might make things easier, but due to some lag time from uploading of documents to the IPOPHL website, there is still a need to do actual manual veriication at IPOPHL,” says Editha Hechanova, managing partner at Hechanova & Co in Manila. “So, depending on the degree of accuracy the searcher wants, a local lawyer or agent would still be needed until such time as the documents are entered into the IPOPHL electronic database in real time.”

 

Besides the beneits, there are costs to joining TMview. “The challenge is to ensure that the information being shown on TMview is updated by IPOPHL,” Loste says. “There were several instances when we had to secure certiications from IPOPHL regarding registration statuses of clients’ marks because the information posted on TMview is inaccurate.”