Amicus Curiae: Philippines to host 2024 conference of Asian Patent Attorneys Association
The Philippines will be the venue of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) council meeting next year at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Metro Manila from November 18 to 21, 2024. This year’s APAA 20th General Assembly and 74th and 75th Council Meeting was held from November 3 to 7, 2023 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The last time that APAA held its Council Meeting in Singapore was back in 2008.
Some 40 Filipino intellectual property lawyers attended the event along with almost 1,400 other delegates from different countries. The APAA is a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing intellectual property (IP) protection in the Asian region.
The term “intellectual property rights” consists of (a) copyright and related rights; (b) trademarks and service marks; (c) geographic indications; (d) industrial designs; (e) patents; (f) layout-designs (topographies) of integrate circuits; and (g) protection of undisclosed information.
IP laws lay down the remedies available to the IP owner in case of a violation of his rights through administrative, civil and criminal sanctions against violators.
The IP laws aim to protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creations, particularly when beneficial to the people, for such periods as provided in the law. Nobody else can copy or reuse that creation without the owner’s permission.
Established in December 1969, membership of APAA is open to individuals practicing the profession of patent attorney in the Asian region as well as organizations that comprise such individuals and are constituted in the Asian region.
The association now has more than 2,500 members from 21 recognized groups in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as from Bhutan, Brunei, Laos and Mongolia.
“In the foreseeable future, the growth of IP in Asia is going to be galloping off at a tremendous pace. It is likely to be for the next couple of years, at least, the strongest growing region, IP-wise, in the world,” according to Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong SC.
Tong added that he believes APAA would have a crucial role to play, in helping businesses in the different jurisdictions unleash the hidden IP potential, tap into the markets, realize their potential, and really grow economically.
Some of APAA’s activities include exchanging information and views concerning IP protection.
Country representatives presented their respective reports on issues involving anti-counterfeiting, copyright, patents, designs, trademarks, and emerging IP rights.
There were also roundtable discussions on women empowerment; handling cross-border trademark infringement or counterfeit products online and off-line; artificial intelligence and patentability of computer-implemented inventions; unified patent court litigation system in Europe; trade secrets and cross-border misappropriation cases; intersection of competition and IP laws; work life balance; trends in equality, diversity, inclusivity; approaches to drafting a patent specification that is suitable for multiple jurisdictions.
In the Philippines, Republic Act 8293 or the IP Code was signed into on June 6, 1997, and took effect on January 1, 1998. The IP Code has adopted certain changes aimed at streamlining administrative procedures of registration and enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the country. One of its salient features is the shift from the “first-to-invent/use” to “first-to-file” system.
The IP Month is celebrated every April pursuant to Proclamation No. 190 signed in 2017 that aims to raise appreciation for the benefits that IP brings to Filipinos’ daily lives.
The Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP) was founded on March 31, 1977 with the aim of professionalizing the steadily growing practice of IP law in the Philippines.
IPAP is the sole Philippine national group recognized by the APAA, the Asean Intellectual Property Association, and the Association Internationale pour la Protection dela Propriete Industrielle.
IPAP’s founding member Atty. Alonzo Ancheta is the 2006-2009 president of APAA, the first Filipino to hold this position.
The Philippines hosted the APAA council meetings in 1990 (Manila Hotel), 2000 (Cebu), and 2011 (Shangri-La Makati).
Our firm, the Sapalo Velez Bundang and Bulilan (SVBB) law offices was part of the Philippine contingent for this year’s APAA meeting in Singapore.
IPAP’s past president Atty. Pablo Gancayco received the Enduring Award during the Gala dinner.
(Atty. Dennis R. Gorecho heads the seafarers’ division of the SVBB law offices. For comments, e-mail email@example.com, or call 09175025808 or 09088665786.)
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