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Intellectual Property Code (R.A. No. 8293) – Helpful Notes

February 23, 2019

Effectivity: January 1, 1998

Intellectual Property

It refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce.

It means the legal rights which result from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields (World Intellectual Property Organization Intellectual Property Handbook, 2004).

Note: There are NO property rights protected by law in mere ideas or mental conceptions. Specifically, even if expressed or embodied in a work, news of the day and others having the character of mere items of press information or any official text, translation or work of the government are not protected by law (IPC, Sec. 175). Those works under Non-Patentable Inventions are also not protected by law.

Intellectual Property Rights are:

State Policies (IPC, Sec. 2)

The State recognizes that an effective intellectual and industrial property system is: (Vfai)

1. Vital to the development of domestic and creative activity;

2. Facilitates transfer of technology;

3. Attracts foreign investment; and

4. Insures market access for new products.

Copyright(IPC, Sec. 172)

It is confined to literary and artistic works which are original creations in the literary or artistic domain protected from the moment of their creation.

Undisclosed Information

It refers to information which:

  1. Is a secret in the sense that it is not, as a body or in the precise configuration and assembly of components, generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the circles that normally deal with the kind of information in question;
  2. Has commercial value because it is a secret; and
  3. Has been subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances, by the person lawfully in control of the information, to keep it in secret (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Article 9 [hereinafter TRIPS Agreement]).

Industrial Design (IPC, Sec. 112.1).

It refers to any composition of lines or colors or any three-dimensional form, whether or not associated with lines or colors: Provided that such composition or form gives special appearance to and can serve as pattern for an industrial product or handicraft.

Trademark/Service Mark

It is any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods (trademark) or services (service mark) of an enterprise and shall include a stamped or marked container of goods (IPC, Section 121.1; Kho v. CA, GR No. 115758, Mar. 19, 2002).

Patentable Invention (IPC, Sec. 21)

It refers to any technical solution of a problem in any field of human activity which is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

Integrated Circuit (IPC, Sec. 112.2)

It is a product, in its final form, or an intermediate form, in which the elements, at least one of which is an active element, and some or all of the interconnections are integrally formed in and/or on a piece of material, and which is intended to perform an electric function.

Layout-Design (Topography) (IPC, Sec. 112.3)

It refers to the three-dimensional disposition, however expressed, of the elements, at least one of which is an active element, and of some or all of the interconnections of an integrated circuit, or such a three-dimensional disposition prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacture.

For a layout design to be entitled to protection, it must be original in the sense that they are a result of their creator’s own intellectual effort and are not commonplace among creators of layout designs and manufacturers.

Graphic Indication

It identifies a good as originating in the territory of a Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin (TRIPS Agreement, Art. 22).

Technology Transfer Arrangements (Sec. 4.2 IPC)

These are contracts or agreements involving the transfer of systematic knowledge for the manufacture of a product, the application of a process, or rendering of a service including management contracts; and the transfer, assignment or licensing of all forms of intellectual property rights, including licensing of computer software except computer software developed for mass market.


1. Principle of Reciprocity (Sec. 3, IPC)

The following are entitled to the benefits of the IPC:

Any person who is a national or who is domiciled or has a real and effective industrial establishment in a country which is: (1) a party to any convention, treaty or agreement relating to intellectual party rights or the repression of unfair competition to which the Philippines is also a party; or (2) extends reciprocal rights to nationals of the Philippines by law.

            If a foreign corporation not doing business in the Philippines is suing as a party of a treaty to which the Philippines is a signatory, the fact that it is suing under Sec. 3 of R.A. No. 8293 need not be alleged as the court must take judicial notice of such facts as it is embodied in and supplied by the Paris Convention which forms part of the law of the land, provided that the party suing substantially complied with the requirements of the law (Puma Sportschuhfabriken Rudolf Dassler, K.G. v. IAC, G.R. No. 75067, Feb 26, 1988).

            However, if a foreign corporation is suing under any other agreement other than R.A. No. 8293, failure to allege reciprocity is fatal to foreign corporation’s cause, it being shown that it failed to comply with the requirements of the law (Leviton Industries, Inc. v. Salvador, G.R. No. L-40163, June 19, 1982).

Note: Being members of the Paris Union does not automatically entitle petitioners to the protection of their trademarks in this country absent actual use of the marks in local commerce and trade. The registration of a trademark unaccompanied by actual use thereof in the country accords the registrant only the standing to sue for infringement in Philippine courts. Entitlement to protection of such trademark in the country is entirely a different matter (Philip Morris, Inc. v. Fortune Tobacco Corp, GR No. 158589, June 27, 2006).

2. Principle of Reverse Reciprocity (IPC, Sec. 231)

Any condition, restriction, limitation, diminution, requirement, penalty or any similar burden imposed by the law of a foreign country on a Philippine national seeking protection of intellectual property rights in that country, shall reciprocally be enforceable upon nationals of said country, within Philippine jurisdiction

3. National Treatment Principle (TRIPS, Art. 3)

The Philippines, upon becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has adhered to the TRIPS Agreement, which provides that protection afforded to the member-states (with respect to intellectual property) must be extended to the nationals of other member-states (GATT 1994, Art.3).

4. Most-Favored Nation Principle (TRIPS Agreement, Art.4)

Whatever favor, allowance, consideration, privilege or immunity a member-state grants the nationals of another country is “immediately and unconditionally” accorded to the nationals of other member states.

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