August 10, 2011
The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) has thrown its support behind moves for the country's accession to the "Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks" (Madrid Protocol) which protects trademarks of companies operating in the country.
In a statement, JFC said the Philippines accession to the Madrid Protocol will allow its members to seek protection for their trademarks in 85 countries, including the United States, Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the European Union, by filing a single application directly with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
JFC is composed of seven foreign chambers, such as Canada, Korean, Japanese, European, Australian-New Zealand, American, and Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc.
The foreign businessmen cited the importance of the Madrid Protocol because it provides its members a flexible, timely, and cost-effective mechanism that facilitates trademark registration in various countries.
In addition, the Protocol simplifies the management of registered marks by providing a simple and efficient procedure for renewals, changes in ownership, and other recordation. For JFC members, managing their trademark portfolio worldwide will become faster, easier, and less expensive. This means greater economic benefit for JFC members.
The Madrid Protocol will also give foreign brands the incentive to invest in the Philippines by providing them with an efficient and transparent infrastructure to register their marks in the country. More investments translate into more jobs for Filipinos.
"We, therefore, urge the Philippine government to accede to the Madrid Protocol at the soonest time possible. We likewise enjoin the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to immediately implement the Madrid Protocol once the accession process is completed by the Philippine Government in 2011," the statement added.
This will ensure that the country maintains a competitive advantage especially with the agreement among ASEAN Member States under the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint to accede to the Protocol by 2015.
The Philippine Government cannot afford to wait for 2015, especially since all its major trading partners are already members of the Madrid Protocol.
Membership in the Madrid Protocol is an important step towards the objective of a seamless international system of filing trademark applications. This is essential in the increasingly integrated global economy.
Source: Manila Bulletin; Business Bulletin; 05 August 2011