Administrative Procedures on Intellectual Property Rights Violations Amended

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has issued amendments to the Rules and Regulations on Administrative Complaints for Violation of Laws Involving Intellectual Property Rights (IPV Cases) in accordance with its policy to streamline administrative procedures and enhance the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the country.

 

Consistent with IPOPHL’s objective to transform the Office into a fully digitized agency, the amended rules leverages the power of technology to improve administrative processes and achieve efficiency. Notable are the new provisions on electronic submission of complaint, answer, and other documents, hearings via online video conference, and service of decisions and final orders via electronic means and facsimile.

 

The following are the amendments on the administrative rules:

 

  • Rule 2, Section 1. Complaint, When and to Whom Filed

A new paragraph has been added emphasizing that the verified initiatory pleading may be filed with Bureau of Legal Affairs of the IPOPHL (Bureau) by any interested party.

 

The verified complaint, and succeeding pleadings, motions, and other submissions shall now be filed by electronic mail (e-mail) at blareceiving@ipophil.gov.ph, and or other e-mail addresses as may be provided. Thereafter, hard copy/ies of the complaint, including proof of electronic filing with the Bureau and proof of payment, shall be submitted with the Bureau, either by personal services by registered mail, or by private courier. All other pleadings, motions, and submissions shall be filed electronically without a need to file a hard copy unless otherwise required by the Bureau. Non-compliance with the prescribed modes of filing may be a ground for the dismissal of the case.

 

  • Rule 2, Section 4. Formal Requirement

The complaint, in addition to existing requirements, shall also contain the following:

  • The official e-mail address/es of the complainant and the respondent, if known;
  • Averments of facts showing the capacity of a party to sue or be sued, or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, or the legal existence of an organized association of persons that is made a party;
  • Judicial affidavits and relevant evidence.

 

When the party-litigant is a juridical entity, the following shall be attached to the complaint:

  • Proof of capacity to sue;
  • Verification/certification of non-forum shopping executed by a natural person duly authorized by the juridical entity, through a special power of attorney or a resolution issued by the juridical entity for the purpose;
  • If such verification and certification of non-forum shopping and supporting documents showing the authority of the signatory or signatories thereto, as well as affidavits, are executed and notarized abroad, these must be authenticated by the appropriate Philippine diplomatic or consular office or apostilled by the appropriate authority of the concerned member country of the Apostille Convention.

 

  • Rule 2, Section 9. Answer

The period to answer the complaint by the respondent is extended from ten (10) days to thirty (30) days from the receipt of the summons.

 

Judicial affidavits and relevant evidence shall form part of the answer. The verification and documents showing the authority of the signatory or signatories thereto as well as affidavits and other supporting documents, executed and notarized abroad, must be authenticated by the appropriate Philippine diplomatic or consular office or apostilled by the appropriate authority of the concerned member country of the Apostille Convention.

 

The answer, all pleadings, motions, and other submission shall now be filed by electronic mail (e-mail) at blareceiving@ipophil.gov.ph, and or other e-mail addresses as may be provided, copy furnished to the complainant’s em-mail address as reflected in the Complaint. Thereafter, hard copy/ies of the answer including proof of electronic filing with the Bureau, and proof of payment, if applicable, shall be submitted with the Bureau, either by personal services by registered mail, or by private courier.

 

Non-compliance with the prescribed modes of filing may be a ground for the issuance of an order of default. A party in default need not file a motion to lift or set aside the order of default to be entitled to notice of subsequent proceedings, as such right is now made absolute by the amended rules.

 

  • Rule 2, Section 12. Pre-trial

The parties’ pre-trial brief, in addition to existing requirements, shall also contain the following:

  • A stipulation on whether the parties consent to be served with the decisions and/or final orders via electronic means, facsimile, and/or other modes of service;
  • A stipulation on whether the parties request that hearings be conducted via online video conference.

 

  • Rule 5, Section 4. When Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) May Be Granted

A new item is added to the section:

 

“In the event that the application for preliminary injunction is denied or is not resolved within the twenty (20)-day period of the effectivity of the TRO, the TRO is deemed automatically vacated. The effectivity of a TRO is non-extendible without need of any declaration to that effect and no court, office, or agency shall have authority to extend or renew the same on the ground for which it was issued.”

 

  • Rule 6, Section 3. Contempt Proceedings

The following is added to the section: 

 

“The decision on the contempt proceedings shall be in writing, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based, and signed by the Director.”

 

  • Rule 7, Section 5. Online Video Conferencing

A new section provides that hearings may be conducted via online video conference upon agreement of the parties. The parties must jointly request for such agreement at least seven days before the next scheduled hearing, unless otherwise ordered by this Bureau or previously agreed upon by the parties during pre-trial or a hearing before this Bureau.

 

  • Rule 11, Section 1. Rendition of Decisions

The section additionally states that decisions and final orders may now be served by electronic means and facsimile if the party concerned consents to such mode of service.

 

Service by electronic means shall be made by sending an e-mail to the party’s and/or counsel’s e-mail address on record, or through other electronic means of transmission as the parties may agree upon. Service by facsimile shall be made by sending a facsimile copy to the party’s or counsel’s given facsimile number.

 

A party who changes his or her e-mail address or facsimile number while the action is pending must promptly file a notice of change of e-mail address or facsimile number with the Bureau and serve the notice on all other parties. Service through the e-mail address or facsimile number of a party shall be presumed valid unless such party notifies the Bureau of any changes thereto.

 

The memorandum circular setting forth the amendments can be accessed here. 

Post a Comment