People and places

In-depth analysis


Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRALAW) has advised Fresenius Kabi Oncology in defending a patent infringement case filed by Aventis Pharma and its Philippine subsidiary. The firm has also represented Phillips Seafood Philippines in a patent infringement suit filed by Kanemitsu Yamaoka, the patent holder of a tuna smoking process. Senior partner Alex Ferdinand Fider, partners Victor N. De Leon, John Paul M. Gaba, Richmond K. Lee, Jose Eduardo T. Genilo and of counsel Aleli Angela G. Quirino and Rogelio Vinluan are top practitioners. The firm was named the Asia IP trademark firm of the year for the Philippines in 2019.

Established in 2009, Baranda & Associates, an affiliated firm of Rouse, is a specialist IP firm led by managing partner Edmund Jason G. Baranda and partner Claire Corral. The firm provides a full range of services including searching, filing and registration for trademarks, patents, utility models, designs and copyright; investigations and enforcement; opposition and cancellation; as well as criminal and civil litigation. 

Bengzon Negre Untalan is a highly-regarded boutique IP firm, known particularly for its enforcement capabilities. Partners Anthony Bengzon, Ferdinand Negre and Michael Untalan are all top lawyers in the Philippines. The firm, whose clients include notable names such as Honda Motors, Levi Strauss & Co, San Miguel Corp, Max’s Group, Nestlé and Lacoste, celebrated its 20th anniversary on February 5, 2020. Its office is located in Bonifacio Global City.

Betita Cabilao Casuela Sarmiento consists of seasoned lawyers with a combined experience of more than 50 years, including partners Andre Betita, John Cabilao, Pericles Casuela and Joseph Sarmiento. The firm, based in Muntinlupa in Manila’s southern suburbs, is a top-notch full-service firm that specializes in IP work, while also offering general corporate, employment, investment and dispute resolution services. The firm has extensive experience in the management and protection of IP rights, including enforcement before courts and other government agencies. Casuela is personable, business-minded and a good source of information about Philippines’ law.

Led by managing partner Antonio Bucoy, Bucoy Poblador & Associates is based in Manila with practices covering Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The firm helps negotiate and prepare agreements on licensing, technology transfer and other related contracts. 

Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose is a full-service law firm. Its IP team, led by partner Noel Laman, advises on all relevant areas such as licensing, trademark, patent and copyright. The firm provides services to both local companies and multinational companies such as Kodak and Nokia. 

Led by senior partner Patricia AO Bunye, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia’s services include prosecution of applications for the registration of trademarks and patents and applications for issuance of copyright deposit; protection of business models, trade secrets and undisclosed information; IP commercialization; handling administrative, civil and criminal cases; dispute settlement; mediation involving IPRs; and anti-piracy programs and intellectual property enforcement cases. Among others, the firm handles IP matters for the Department of Science and Technology-Technology Application and Promotion Institute and the Asian Institute of Management. Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia likewise represents the heirs and estate of National Artist for Theater and Literature Rolando S. Tinio for IP audit, contracts review and protection of his works through copyright deposit among others. Senior partner Susan Villanueva is a key IP contact. Among its lead lawyers are Rowanie A. Nakan and Criselda Santiago for patents and Divina Gracia E. Pedron and Carlo B. Valerio for copyright. 

Esguerra & Blanco is a full-service firm that advises both local and international clients on all areas of law. The firm’s top practitioners, including managing partner Ramon Esguerra and partner Carlos Paulo Villaruz and Abelaine Alcantara handle IP matters such as inter partes and administrative litigation, as well as registrations of trademark, copyright, patent, technology transfer and licensing. 

Federis & Associates is a boutique law firm based in Manila, practicing exclusively in the field of IP. With top practitioners such as Mila Federis, Caesar Poblador and Jan Abigail Ponce-Roxas on board, the firm has been identified by numerous multinational corporations as one of the best for patent prosecution in the Asia-Pacific region for many years. 

With headquarters in Manila, a branch office in Cavite and a liaison office in Hong Kong, Fortun Narvasa & Salazar is a full-service law firm advising clients on all aspects of IP. Senior partners including Roderick Salazar III and Philip Sigfrid Fortun, and partner Bayani Loste, advise on patent and trademark prosecution work as well as conducting search and seizure of infringing products. They regularly volunteer as lecturers and trainers in public IP awareness campaigns sponsored by IPOPHL. 

Senior partner Pablo Gancayco and managing partner Crescencio Fortunato Balasbas lead Gancayco Balasbas & Associates in offering services such as registration, enforcement and cancellation for copyright, technology transfer, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, layout designs, topographies and integrated circuits.

The Hechanova Group – Hechanova & Co. and Hechanova Bugay Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio – is based in Manila, where the former firm focuses on prosecution matters and the latter on litigation work. With key IP practitioners including president Editha Hechanova and partner Maria Gladys Vilchez, the firm advices on matters related to trademarks, patents, copyright, domain names, utility models, designs, litigation, licensing and franchising. One of its foremost clients is Alibaba Group Holding Limited for which the firm filed 44 applications covering various technologies in a 12-month period. Its newest hires are Chrissie Anne Barredo for patent prosecution and litigation, Ruhjen Osmena for litigation and Grace Carbonell for chemical patents. The firm was named Asia IP copyright firm of the year in the Philippines 2019. 

Singapore-based Mirandah Asia (Philippines) has an office in Bonifacio Global City. Head of patent and industrial design Emilia Lorenzo and head of trademark Marjorie Rodrigo bring massive IP experience to the firm. The firm also has offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hanoi and Bangkok, as well as significant experience in Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Brunei and India. 

Renato Calma, Roane Alfredo Lopez III and Virna Emeline Caringal-Divino are key IP practitioners at Ortega, Bacorro, Odulio, Calma & Carbonell. The firm looks after the intellectual property portfolio of a good number of established European, American and Asian companies in the pharmaceutical industry, sports and entertainment, the food industry, and the fashion, clothing and consumer items industry. 

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño boasts a well-regarded IP practice, including for its handling of patent and trademark prosecution and unfair competition matters. The firm has also undertaken marketing campaigns with its clients to curb the sale and distribution of counterfeit products, and led in the search and raid of establishments suspected of selling and distributing counterfeit products. Senior partner Augusto S. San Pedro heads up the firm’s IP practice. 

Based in Makati, Poblador Bautista & Reyes’ IP practice includes trademarks, clearance, licensing, copyright, litigation, unfair competition, patents, utility models and industrial designs. Key contacts include Gilbert Raymund T. Reyes, Dino Vivencio A.A. Tamayo, Romeo Johann I. Fernandez and Brigitte da Costa-Villaluz.

As the first member firm of Baker McKenzie in Asia, Quisumbing Torres has been advising organizations such as Business Software Alliance and Warner Bros for 50 years. Led by partner Bienvenido Marquez III, who heads the firm’s IP and technology group in Manila, and highly-regarded partner Divina Ilas-Panganiban, the firm brings in-depth knowledge of local IP laws and business practices to matters ranging from licensing and franchising, technology transfer, to IP prosecution, litigation and enforcement.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles offers a full range of legal services with over 90 lawyers. The IP practice is led by senior partner Rogelio Nicandro. Headquartered in Manila with branches in Cebu and Hong Kong, the firm’s IP department handles prosecution of patents, trademarks, copyright, licensing and technology transfer applications before IPOPHL, as well as pursuing civil and criminal cases involving infringement and unfair competition. It coordinates with government agencies in obtaining and implementing search warrants for the seizure of infringing articles. 

Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan is based in Manila with branch offices in Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao and Iloilo. Led by managing partner Ignacio Sapalo and senior partner Neptali Bulilan, the IP team represents clients worldwide. It has advised the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (FILSCAP) in a long-running dispute with Philippine Home Cable Holdings for copyright infringement. 

Headquartered in Manila with branches in Cebu, Subic and Davao, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan is one of the country’s largest law firms in terms of client base and range of IP services. Led by partner Enrique T. Manuel, the IP team includes litigation specialists for inter partes and other administrative proceedings before IPOPHL as well as cases in courts designated to try unfair competition, copyright infringement, etc. Partner Vida M. Panaganiban-Alindogan is a key IP contact in the firm, which was named Asia IP patent firm of the year in the Philippines in 2019. 

The forte at VeraLaw is intellectual property. With clients and colleagues all over the world, Maria Theresa C. Gonzales, Maria Francesca V. Bautista, Daphne Ruby Grasparil and Roberto Paolo R. Suarez have solid experience in working for international markets, particularly in filing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications of most countries. 

Based in Manila, senior partner Bienvenido I. Somera Jr. and partner Katrina Doble and Sophia C. Cruz-Abrenica lead Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) in providing services of trademark and patent prosecution, copyright registration, IP commercialization, licensing, franchising, litigation as well as enforcement actions.

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