Efficient IP Dispute Resolution: IPOPHL’s New Mediation Processes

By Syril Diesta


The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has been refining its mediation rules to streamline the resolution of intellectual property disputes effectively. These ongoing amendments demonstrate a commitment to enhancing efficiency in handling cases involving diverse aspects of IP law.

Development of Mediation Processes

Historically, IPOPHL mediation has evolved significantly, incorporating both litigation-related and non-litigation disputes into its scope. Key developments include categorising IP disputes, utilising information technology, and requiring party consent for mediation. These changes aim to adapt to modern challenges in IP enforcement and protection.

Current Mediation Requirements

As per the latest amendments outlined in IPOPHL Memorandum Circular No. 2024-007, dated March 12, 2024, mediation is now mandatory for:

  • Administrative complaints for violation of Intellectual Property Rights and/or Unfair Competition
  • Inter Partes cases
  • Disputes over technology transfer payments
  • Disputes relating to public performance rights or other communication of an author’s work

However, cases involving applications for Temporary Restraining Orders, Preliminary Injunctions, or other ancillary remedies are exempt unless parties jointly request mediation.

Recent Amendments and Their Implications

The 2024 amendments have introduced significant changes:

  • Appeals to the Office of the Director General from certain bureaus are now optionally referable to mediation.
  • A new Alternative Dispute Resolution conference replaces pre-mediation briefings, emphasizing arbitration options per existing IPOPHL Arbitration Rules.

Online and Physical Mediation Options

Following IPOPHL Memorandum Circular No. 2020-047, mediation and ADR conferences are primarily conducted online via virtual platforms. However, parties may opt for face-to-face sessions, choosing their venue and bearing associated costs.

Enhancements to Mediation Submissions

Procedures for submitting mediation documents have been streamlined to allow electronic submissions, improving accessibility and efficiency.

Mediation Outside Litigation

IPOPHL also facilitates mediation for IP disputes that have not yet entered litigation, promoting early resolution and reducing legal costs. This process is governed by updated rules that encourage proactive engagement by the parties involved.

These reforms by IPOPHL reflect a robust approach to IP dispute management, aligning with the goals of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 and the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. They underscore the agency’s dedication to fostering a conducive environment for intellectual property management and dispute resolution.

For further queries or detailed guidance on the new mediation rules, please email us at kass@kass.asia. 

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