Answer ... An unfair competition action is available to owners of marks that are not registered in the Philippines. The IP Code provides that anyone who has identified in the minds of the public his or her business, goods or services from those of his or her competitors – whether or not a registered mark is employed – has a property right in the goodwill of that business, goods or services, which will be protected in the same manner as other property rights.
Well-known marks, even if not registered in the Philippines, are protected under the IP Code. The IP Code provides that a mark cannot be registered if it is identical or confusingly similar to, or constitutes a translation of, a mark that is well known internationally and in the Philippines and that is used for identical or similar goods or services, whether or not the well-known mark is registered in the Philippines.
The IP Code likewise provides that trade names shall be protected – even prior to or without registration – against any unlawful act committed by third parties. In particular, any subsequent use of trade name by a third party – whether as a trade name, trademark or collective mark – or any such use of a similar trade name or trademark which is likely to mislead the public shall be deemed unlawful.
Jurisprudence also provides that it is not the application or registration of a trademark that vests ownership thereof; rather, it is the ownership of a trademark that confers the right to register the same. Hence, bad-faith registration is proscribed in the Philippines, as the trademark applicant must be the true and lawful owner of the mark. Therefore, the true owner of the trademark can file a cancellation or opposition action against marks that are registered or are sought to be registered in bad faith.
Answer ... The rights in a trademark shall be acquired through registration made validly in accordance with the law.
Except in the case of imports of drugs and medicines allowed under the IP Code and off-patent drugs and medicines, the owner of a registered mark shall have the exclusive right to prevent third parties from using, in the course of trade, identical or similar marks for identical or similar goods or services, where such use would result in a likelihood of confusion. In the case of the use of an identical sign for identical goods or services, a likelihood of confusion shall be presumed. Thus, the owner of a registered trademark can file an infringement action against trademark infringers.
Also, a certificate of registration of a trademark shall be prima facie evidence of the validity of the registration, the registrant’s ownership of the mark, and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the same in connection with the goods or services and those that are related thereto specified in the certificate.
Answer ... No. The Philippines no longer has a supplemental register on which descriptive marks may be registered. The IP Code now provides for only one register.