IPOPHL upskills trademark examiners in back-to-back Japan, US training

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) once again partnered with the intellectual property (IP) offices of Japan and the United States to enhance the knowledge and capacities of IPOPHL’s trademark staff in search and examination.

The Japan Patent Office and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) geared up IPOPHL’s examiners in handling non-traditional trademark applications.

Yugen Sasaki, Deputy Director of JETRO Bangkok’s IP Department, shared Japan’s best practices in examining non-traditional marks, such as color marks, position marks, motion marks, hologram marks and sound marks.

The lecture fortified examiners’ knowledge in determining the distinctiveness of the mark. Also discussed were the contents of description of the mark being registered and the requirements to amend the mark representation in the registration.

Bureau of Trademarks (BOT) Director Jesus Antonio Z. Ros highlighted the importance of the collaboration as IPOPHL plans to open doors for the registration of non-traditional trademarks soon.

In a webinar, IP experts Attiya Malik and Anna Manville, both Attorney Advisors of the Office of Policy and International Affairs of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), shared best practices in electronic processes and showcased electronic tools and resources that helped streamlined their services.

Among the salient features of USPTO e-tools is the Trademark Search and Document Retrieval. The tool provides examiners and registrants access to a comprehensive database showing trademark applications and their status, as well as downloadable examiner-client exchanges on office actions, enabling real-time monitoring of trademark registrations and their progress.

Moreover, the USPTO grants access to trademark application appeals and cases through its called Trademark Trial and Appeal Board database.

Ros during the webinar said that while “IPOPHL takes pride in becoming one of the first government offices in the Philippines to provide end-to-end online services, we acknowledge that we still have a long way to go in terms of sustaining these electronic systems.”

The BOT is exploring the possibility of adopting USPTO’s electronic tools in the future.

“The back-to-back training strives to equip our trademark examiners and practitioners with knowledge and skills to meet the evolving requirements of this field. This is in line with IPOPHL’s BRIGHT Agenda, particularly in continuously Building collaboration and partnerships, Raising the ante for customer service and Transforming IPOPHL into a fully digitalized agency,” Ros added.