Registration of Geographical Indications is now available in the Philippines. The Rules and Regulations on Geographical Indications (GI-RR), which issued on 5 October 2022, establishes a GI registration system. Any interested party may now apply to register a GI with the IP Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
Under this system GI is defined as any indication which identifies a good as originating in a territory, region or locality, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristics of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin, and/or human factors.
GI receives protection in the Philippines only if registered under the GI-RR. A registered GI is protected against: (1) third party uses of geographical names other than the true place of origin in a manner that can mislead the public, (2) use of GI which falsely represents that the goods originate in another territory, (3) and use of a GI on a good that does not originate from the place indicated in the GI even if accompanied by the name of the place where the goods originates from, or even if accompanied by expressions such as “kind”, “type”, “style”, imitation”, “method”, “as produced in” or other similar qualifying terms, (4) use of a GI which constitutes an act of unfair competition within the meaning of Art. 10bis of the Paris Convention.
The Bureau of Trademarks will maintain a Register of Protected Geographical Indications. The registration includes publication and allows for the filing of third-party observations or objections.
Foreign applicants must be a national of, or a juridical entity organized in or has an effective commercial or industrial establishment in a country which is a party to the World Trade Organization or other international conventions concerning the protection of GI to which the Philippines is also a party.
Along with other standard application requirements, an applicant must submit a government certification validating the causal link between the specific quality, reputation or other characteristics of the goods and the geographic area which it originated and a technical information pertaining to the product specifications.
A foreign applicant will be required to submit a certification from the competent government agency in the country of origin that the GI is a registered or protected GI in that country.
The system will protect homonymous GI’s but may require owners to comply with certain conditions to differentiate one GI from another to avoid misleading the public. The principle of first in time first in right will apply. Full text of the rules is here: https://tinyurl.com/GIregulations/