IP Litigation & Enforcement Guide in Philippines

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IP Litigation & Enforcement Guide in Philippines

There are many questions and concerns regarding the procedure of IP litigation and IP enforcement. However, there hasn’t been a clear guideline for right holders as well as the parties related. This article will address some common questions and concerns of the IP litigation and enforcement landscape in the Philippines, primarily the sections revolving around civil and criminal enforcement.

Is the Philippines common law or civil law?

The Philippines is principally a civil law jurisdiction. However, it should be noted that its legal system has elements of common law as decisions of the Supreme Court are binding on lower courts and are a source of law. 

What is the language of the proceedings? 

The language used in the proceedings and the pleadings submitted are in English. In the circumstance where a witness can only speak and understand a local or foreign language, a translator will be provided.

What methods are there for enforcing IP rights?

What are the procedures for civil enforcement?

A civil enforcement to regain losses from the infringer and/or to prohibit the infringing action is initiated by filing a verified complaint with the SCC (Special Commercial Courts). 


Accordingly, the parties will file complaints, answers, and other pleadings as stipulated in the regulations. Remedies include preliminary injunctions, preliminary attachments, damages, and fines.

What is the average time to trial in a civil case?

Based on the timelines provided in the 2020 Revised Rules of Procedure for Intellectual Property Cases, the average time to trial in a civil case is about 6 months from the time of filing the complaint. The whole timeline for a trial in a civil case will be described as follow:

  1. Within five (5) days from the filing of the complaint, the SCC will issue a summons to the other party/respondent to file its Answer.
  2. The other party/respondent is required to file the Answer to the complaint within 30 days from receipt of the summons.
  3. The complainant has 15 days from receipt of Answer to respond to any counterclaim or cross-claim raised therein.
  4. Within five (5) days from the expiration of 30 days to avail of modes of discovery or after the discovery requested has been completed, the court will issue a notice setting the case for pre-trial for simplification of issues and marking of evidence.
  5. The pre-trial shall be terminated no later than 30 days from its commencement.
  6. Clarification hearings may be conducted within 30 days from the termination of the pre-trial.
  7. The trial proper shall commence within 60 days from the termination of the pre-trial.
  8. The trial should be completed no later than 60 days from the date of the initial trial.

However, the timelines will be adjusted according to each different scenario in practice, depending on the availability of the parties and the representatives attending the hearing and the available schedule of the court.

What are the procedures for criminal enforcement?

A complaint needs to be filed with the Department of Justice initially, then it will be assessed by a public prosecutor. If the public prosecutor verifies that there is probable cause that a violation of the IP Code is committed, criminal information will be filed with the courts. When the information has been offered to the SCC, the criminal court will schedule the arraignment of the infringer and consequently, the trial will commence.

What are the procedures for criminal appeals?

Criminal appeals need to be filed with the Court of Appeals through the filling of a notice of appeal with the SCC who rendered the decision or final orders appealed from and by serving a copy of the same upon the adverse party. Such appeal must be taken within fifteen (15) days from the promulgation of the judgment or the date of notice of the final order. The period to perfect the appeal will be suspended from the time a motion for new trial or reconsideration is registered until notice of the order overruling the same motion has been served upon the accused or his counsel.

What IP treaties is the Philippines a member of?

  • Madrid Agreement
  • WTO – TRIPS Agreement
  • WIPO – Copyright Treaty
  • WIPO – Trademark Law Treaty
  • WIPO – Performances and Phonograms Treaty
  • Berne Convention
  • Paris Convention
  • Budapest Treaty
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty


*** Other Articles***

– You can check FEE OF TRADEMARK IN Philippines HERE.

– You could visit here to see Procedure of Philippines Trademark Registration.

– You could visit here to check the required documents for filing trademark in Philippines.

– Other questions of trademark in Philippines here.

– You could also check the trademark fees in ASEAN countries here. All with affordable fees.

– You could also check the trademark fees in ASIA here. All with affordable fees. 

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