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Alex Fider leads the practice at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw), which provides the full range of IP services and engages in contentious and non-contentious work. The firm has advised clients such as the San Miguel Corporation and BP on a range of IP matters, including administrative registration, licensing, franchising, data protection, and cybercrime prevention matters.

IP boutique Baranda & Associates is led by patent specialist Edmund Baranda, and provides the full range of IP legal and consultancy services, with strength on both the contentious and non-contentious side. Jose Genilo was recently made partner.

The ‘excellent’ IP practice at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia has ‘good strength in depth’ and is particularly strong on contentious matters. Susan Villanueva represented Therapharma Inc. in opposing the attempted revival of an abandoned patent application for losartan, which the Supreme Court upheld as anti-competitive and prejudicial to the public. IP commercialisation expert Patricia Bunye is also recommended.

Hechanova Bugay Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio has extensive experience in matters involving border control, enforcement, IP litigation, due diligence, and licensing. Editha Hechanova is the name to note.

Manuel Gonzalez and Shirley Alinea lead the practice at Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano, which provides clients with advice on a range of areas, from rights protection to administration and maintenance. The firm also acted for Century Pacific Food Inc. in its acquisition of the license to manufacture, market and distribute Hunt’s products in the Philippines, which was previously held by Hunt-Universal Robina Corporation.

The team at Ortega Bacorro Odulio Calma & Carbonell provides expertise in IP clearance and protection, enforcement, due diligence and licensing. The key partners within the practice include Renato Calma, Roane Lopez III and Virna Caringal-Divino.

The IP group at Quisumbing Torres is headed by Bienvenido Marquez III, who is strongly supported by Divina Ilas-Panganiban. The firm advises clients such as Uber International B.V. on protection of IP rights, registration and maintenance of domain names, transactional IT, privacy and data protection, and regulatory compliance matters.

The IP practice at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles is led by Rogelio Nicandro, who is experienced in handling a range of matters, including patent filing, trade marks, copyright, and e-commerce.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan’s IP practice is led by Enrique Manuel and provides services in areas including IP rights protection, licensing, and administrative proceedings. The firm acts for clients from a range of industries and recently represented Apple Inc. in an opposition proceeding against the application for registration of a trade mark owned by Swatch AG.

The ‘knowledgeable’ Bienvenido Somera, Jr leads the ‘professional’ and ‘responsive’ IP practice at Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law). The team provides ‘an excellent service’ and is ‘well versed’ in the full range of IP prosecution and litigation matters. Amongst its broad portfolio of work, the firm continues to represent ABS-CBN in a trade mark opposition case against Apple Inc. concerning design similarities between the client’s renowned trade mark and Apple’s three-circle device mark used for its Apple Watch Activity app.

The IP team at Betita Cabilao Casuela Sarmiento is well-versed in handling a range of matters, including trade mark licensing issues, enforcement, and litigation. Name partners Andre Betita, John Paul Cabilao, Pericles Casuela and Joseph Sarmiento are the key IP practitioners within the firm.

Bucoy Poblador & Associates advises clients on licensing, transfer of technology and other related contracts. Managing partner Antonio Bucoy is particularly active within the practice area, alongside Erwin Fernandez, Filemon Fernandez III and Amando Miclat.

Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose’s IP practice advises local and international clients on the full range of IP law; the firm has represented multinational corporations, foreign law firms, and professional groups, and has particular expertise in advising major pharmaceutical manufacturers on medical advertisement law and regulatory compliance.

Augusto San Pedro heads the IP team at Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño, which counts McDonald’s Corporation and clothing brands such as Levi Strauss and Affliction among its clients.

Gilbert Reyes leads the team at Poblador Bautista & Reyes, which has experience in trade marks, licensing, copyright protection, patents and litigation.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices advises clients on licensing, data protection, registration of copyrights, trade mark opposition disputes, and copyright infringement matters, among other areas. Joshua Paraiso and Fidel Valeros, Jr are recommended.

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Legal Developments in Philippines

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  • Getting the Deal Through: Appeals 2017

    The Philippine chapter of Getting the Deal Through: Appeals 2017 was contributed by SyCipLaw partner Ramon G. Songco and associate Kathleen Kay A. de Guzman . The chapter provides key insight into the appellate stage of dispute resolution in the Philippines.
  • The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Patents 2018

    The Philippine chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Patents 2018 was contributed by SyCipLaw partners Enrique T. Manuel and Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan . The chapter answers key questions on patent enforcement, patent amendment, licensing, patent term extension, patent prosecution and opposition, border control measures, and antitrust laws and inequitable conduct. It also gives an overview on current patent developments in the country.
  • IBA Taxes Committee: “Developments in Philippine Tax Laws and Regulations”

    The International Bar Association’s (IBA) Taxes Committee published its annual update on tax developments by jurisdiction for 2017. The 2017 update includes a Philippine report by SyCipLaw partner Hiyasmin H. Lapitan entitled “Developments in Philippine Tax Laws and Regulations”. The Philippine report summarizes recent updates related to tax treaty relief, passed-on gross receipts tax, alternative modes of paying taxes, reduction of real property tax on independent power producers, and case law, as well as upcoming tax reform developments.
  • ALB: “Enforcement Update: Philippine Competition Act”

    The August 2017 issue of the Asian Legal Business (ALB)  includes a Philippine regional update by SyCipLaw partner  Arlene M. Maneja entitled, “Enforcement Update: Philippine Competition Act”. The article summarizes the administrative, civil and criminal penalties that apply to companies that have yet to comply with the Philippine Competition Act (PCA). The transitional clause of the PCA to enable parties to renegotiate agreements or restructure their businesses to comply with the law expired on August 7, 2017.
  • CPO: “Philippines: To Be or Not To Be a Data Protection Officer (DPO)”

    Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) Magazine, an online publication owned by Data Privacy Asia, featured an article by SyCipLaw partner Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez . Entitled “Philippines: To Be or Not To Be a Data Protection Officer (DPO) ”, the article discusses the qualifications and responsibilities of a DPO as outlined in the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012. It also outlines difficulties companies may experience in the appointment of a DPO.
  • ALB: “Guidelines on Related Party Transactions for Insurers in the Philippines”

    The July 2017 issue of the Asian Legal Business (ALB) includes a Philippine regional update by SyCipLaw partner Hiyasmin H. Lapitan and associate Jo Margarette W. Remollo entitled, “Guidelines on Related Party Transactions for Insurers in the Philippines ”. The article summarizes the Insurance Commission’s compliance guidelines on related party transactions, as set out in Insurance Circular Letter No. 2017-29. The Circular covers insurers, reinsurers, branch offices of foreign insurers, mutual benefit associations, pre-need companies, and health maintenance organizations and their intermediaries.
  • Philippines Chapter in The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review - Edition 5

    The Philippines section of The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review - Edition 5 contains information on commencing disputes, including national and local taxes; courts and tribunals; penalties and remedies; tax claims, including recovering overpaid taxes, challenging administrative decisions, and claimants; costs; alternative dispute resolution; anti-avoidance; double taxation treaties; areas of focus; and outlook and conclusions. The section was contributed by SyCipLaw partner  Carina C. Laforteza  with support from associate  Mark Xavier D. Oyales .
  • IFLR: “Philippines: Acquiring insurance brokers”

    The April issue of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) includes an international briefing article by SyCipLaw partner  Hiyasmin H. Lapitan  entitled “Philippines: Acquiring insurance brokers”. The article discusses the new requirement by the Philippine Insurance Commission (IC) for advance approval to acquire a stake in a Philippine corporation that is licensed as an insurance broker or reinsurance broker. This requirement is noted in the IC’s circular letter number 2017-09 dated February 14, 2017, which prescribes guidelines on the documentation requirements for acquiring a domestic insurance or reinsurance broker.
  • SyCipLaw Tax Bulletin: Philippine BIR Rules on Proper Tax Treatment of Passed-on Gross Receipts Tax

    On June 13, 2016, the then Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 62-2016 purporting to clarify the proper tax treatment of percentage tax or gross receipts tax (GRT) due on transactions covered by Sections 1211 and 1222 of the Tax Code which are shifted through contractual stipulations to borrowers/customers/clients (“passed-on” GRT). Banks, non-bank financial intermediaries performing quasi-banking functions are subject to GRT under Section 121 while financing companies and other financial intermediaries not performing quasi-banking functions are subject to GRT under Section 122. The effectivity of this circular was suspended on July 1, 2016 by the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue. However, on November 15, 2016, the suspension was lifted by RMC No. 127-2016 rendering RMC No. 62-2016 effective immediately.

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