The 2020 Revised Rules for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is set to take effect on November 16, the Supreme Court (SC) said.

supremecourt - Revised rules for Intellectual Property Rights take effect Nov. 16

“The 2020 IPR Rules are designed to foster a legal atmosphere that ultimately spur creative activity and innovation, technology transfer, and foreign investment,” the SC Public Information Office (SCPIO) said in a statement.

The SCPIO said the high tribunal crafted the revised rules following “extensive and thorough discussions by stakeholders from various sectors, practitioners, the academe, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, and the Judiciary, with the goal of improving, facilitating, and expediting cases in response to the ever-changing landscape of intellectual property (IP) rights litigation in the country.”

“The 2019 Amendments to the Revised Rules on Evidence were also taken into account,” it added.

The 2020 IPR Rules takes effect 15 days from publication in two newspapers, including the Manila Bulletin.

Among its features is the reduction of time for special commercial courts to render judgment on cases.

“Due to the rising number of IP rights cases and the heavy dockets of the special commercial courts, the period to render judgment has been set at sixty (60) calendar days which is shorter than the ninety (90) calendar days to promulgate decisions in regular cases,” the SCPIO said.

The 2020 IPR Rules also states that “Special Commercial Courts in Baguio City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Davao City shall now have authority to issue writs of search and seizure in civil and criminal actions, enforceable nationwide.”

The SCPIO said “courts may now allow the use of electronic means such as teleconferencing or videoconferencing in the taking of depositions and in other modes of discovery.”

Under the new rules, courts may now also order the disposition of confiscated items “by way of donation for humanitarian use, subject to conditions.”

“However, those classified as hazardous shall only be subject to destruction, said the SCPIO.

The order of destruction under the rules was also “overhauled to also include the disposal of infringing goods, related objects, or devices, specifying the manner or method of disposal and/or destruction thereof.”

“For the first time, the 2020 IPR Rules also list what shall be accepted as proof of actual use of a mark in trademark infringement and unfair competition cases. Moreover, the 2020 IPR Rules include a new provision on market survey as evidence to prove primary significance, distinctiveness, or status of a mark and/or likelihood of confusion,” the it cited.

The SCPIO said, “A new provision was added for monitoring the application of and adherence to the 2020 IPR Rules, and mandates the training of judges and court personnel by the Philippine Judicial Academy in coordination with the Office of the Court Administrator.”

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