Philippines: Intellectual Property Office amends rules on mediation

In brief

Recent developments

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) recently issued two new memorandum circulars (collectively, "Circulars") in connection with the mediation services of the Bureau of Legal Affairs – Alternative Dispute Resolution Services (BLA-ADRS). These Circulars aim to ensure the continuity and resiliency of the IPOPHL’s mediation services in times of crises, like public health emergencies. 

Concerned individuals or entities must take note of the various requirements and changes introduced by the above Circulars in relation to the mediation services offered by the BLA-ADRS.

Quisumbing Torres is able to advise on dispute resolution cases involving intellectual property rights, and may assist in navigating through these new Circulars to ensure that benefits from the new IPOPHL procedures and mechanisms are maximized.


Contents

We discuss the salient features of the following Circulars, as follows:

MC No. 2020-47

Amendments to the Revised Rules on Mediation

Under this circular, face-to-face mediation proceedings shall no longer be conducted within the IPOPHL premises, but through online/video conferencing.  However, parties may still arrange for face-to-face meetings or conferences, if mediation is done outside the IPOPHL premises, provided that all related expenses are borne by both parties.

Instead of issuing a notice directing the parties to appear before the BLA-ADRS for a face-to-face pre-mediation conference, the concerned bureau of the IPOPHL will issue an order stating that the case is submitted to mandatory mediation and directing the parties to inform the BLA-ADRS within three days from receipt thereof, the names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and other contact details of the persons who will attend the mediation. The three-day period shall start on the date the order is sent if done via email or other electronic means.

The BLA-ADRS will then communicate with the parties and/or representatives to set the time and date of the online pre-mediation conference. If a party is represented, the representative should send an email to the BLA-ADRS a scanned copy of the original proof of authority prior to, or must present the same during, the pre-mediation conference. After the conduct of the online pre-mediation conference, the parties shall send via email a scanned copy of the proof of payment of the fees to the BLA-ADRS.

All submissions to and notices by the BLA-ADRS must be filed by or furnished to the parties via email.

A copy of MC No. 2020-47 can be accessed here.

MC No. 2020-48

Amendment to the Rules of Procedure for IPOPHL Mediation Outside of Litigation

This circular covers mediation services that are available to parties even without or prior to the filing of a case with the IPOPHL. Under this circular, face-to-face mediation proceedings shall no longer be conducted within the IPOPHL premises, but through online/video conferencing.  However, parties may still arrange for face-to-face meetings or conferences, if mediation is done outside the IPOPHL premises, provided that all related expenses are borne by both parties.

Under this circular, parties in dispute should file their request for mediation via email addressed to the BLA-ADRS. Said email request must be accompanied by the payment of the filing fee, which must be paid in accordance with the prescribed IPOPHL payment modes or facilities. The parties should then send a scanned copy of the receipt to the BLA-ADRS as proof of payment by email.

After which, the BLA-ADRS will simply send a notice of acceptance by email to the parties and shall coordinate with them for the schedule of the online pre-mediation conference. If a party is represented, the representative should also send an email to the BLA-ADRS, a scanned copy of the original of the proof of authority prior to, or shall present the same during, the online pre-mediation conference. 

A copy of MC No. 2020-48 can be accessed here.

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*Authored by Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein. Please contact QTInfoDesk@quisumbingtorres.com for inquiries.


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