Philippines

The Filipino patent scene is looking healthy, in terms of both wider market trends and the country’s regulatory climate. The jurisdiction enjoyed an upsurge in patent filings and grants in 2018, to 4,000 and 2,700 respectively, and patents are being evaluated with ever-increasing sophistication at the country’s Intellectual Property Office, as examiners become better trained and regularly raise more complicated technical objections. On 5 October 2018 the Bureau of Legal Affairs-Alternative Dispute Resolution Services also implemented mandatory mediation for certain types of case, including disputes involving technology transfer payments. There is much cause for optimism in the country’s IP situation and the authorities will be hoping that this progress continues.

Firms

  • Highly recommended
  • Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW)
  • Quisumbing Torres
  • Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan
  • SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan 
  • Recommended
  • Baranda & Associates, an affiliated law firm to Rouse
  • Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose
  • EB Astudillo & Associates
  • Esguerra & Blanco Law Offices
  • Federis & Associates
  • Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW)

ACCRALAW is equipped to handle all things IP-related; its team is formidable, spread across three cities and staffed by lawyers with diverse experience and profound technical abilities. National phase entry applications for prestigious global names including BP International and Hewlett-Packard are bread and butter for the well-resourced team. Outside of its patent prosecution practice, the group also attends to confounding litigation cases on behalf of top brands, including Asian Honda Motor Co, Ltd and Phillips Foods. IP supremo Alex Ferdinand Fider is a major name on the local prosecution scene having assisted many clients with distinction and published material on IP law. For patent enforcement, dual-qualified engineer and lawyer Richmond Lee is a discerning choice.

Baranda & Associates, an affiliated law firm to Rouse

Affiliated with international IP firm Rouse, Baranda & Associates offers outstanding patent drafting and filing support; its professionals leave no stone unturned when looking to transform a weak application into an unbreakable patent. Premier local institutions and inventors look to the four-strong team for in-country filing, while clients from Japan, South Korea and China flock to it with instructions on Patent Cooperation Treaty filings and worldwide prosecution. Recently, the firm has been taking up more patent utility drafting work, an area in which expertise is hard to find in the Philippines. Biotech aficionado Edmund Baranda takes the reins as a certified patent agent and country manager.

Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose

Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose maintains a truly comprehensive IP practice, although it is especially noted for its prosecution and licensing capabilities. The team is active in all technical areas but is particularly strong when it comes to pharmaceutical matters. The firm’s trilingual founding partner Noel Laman takes any and every patent matter in his stride, having seen it all during his four decades of practice.

EB Astudillo & Associates

In the space of 35 years, EB Astudillo & Associates has remoulded itself from a multi-practice law firm into an IP boutique specialising in patents. Manned by an impressive team of technically savvy patent agents, the firm services its international clientele with a personal touch. Its principal strength lies in its efficiency in patent prosecution, although it is no stranger to infringement proceedings either. Drawing on his lengthy and successful career in intellectual property, founder Enrico Astudillo deploys finely tuned strategic instincts when getting rights granted and ensuring their continued protection.

Esguerra & Blanco Law Offices

A multi-service law firm, Esguerra & Blanco is well-equipped to meet the diverse needs of technology innovators. It handles filings and proceedings at the Intellectual Property Office and the Bureau of Food and Drugs with ease and serves up consistently pragmatic and commercially sound advice on dispute matters. Firm founder and director of the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines Ramon Esguerra is a key contact alongside partner Carlos Paulo Villaruz and Abelaine Alcantara.

Federis & Associates

Federis & Associates is a growing Filipino IP boutique and a dynamic presence on the patent market. Whether filing applications, arguing before the Supreme Court or devising and executing broader IP strategies, the Makati-based ensemble never lets its clients down. The firm’s technically versatile founder Mila Federis provides resolute leadership.

Quisumbing Torres

Firmly plugged into the global Baker McKenzie network, Quisumbing Torres can draw on its Asian and international counterparts to confect integrated, business-focused solutions to the most complex patent problems. It excels in drafting and prosecuting patents, but also takes enforcement and transaction mandates in its stride; efficiency and clear communication characterise all its activities. Leader of the IP group and co-head of the technology media and telecoms group Bienvenido Marquez III has over two decades of experience in courtroom combat and many triumphs to his name. Flanking him is Divina Pastora Ilas-Panganiban, who prosecutes patent applications with verve. Her IP community engagements are extensive –for example with the Licensing Executives Society International – and keep her at the forefront of the IP policy discussion.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles is the exclusive Filipino member of Lex Mundi, which means that its local team of 15 is integrated in a staggering global network of over 21,000 lawyers. IP department captain and vice president of the Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Association of the Philippines Rogelio Nicandro is the go-to guy. For queries relating to Japan, Carrie Bee C Hao is well-positioned to advise on transactions given her Japanese language skills.

Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan

Esteemed luminary Ignacio Sapalo captains Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan. After an illustrious career in intellectual property as a former director of the Intellectual Property Office – where he helped to write the 1998 Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines – he continues to skilfully manage patent portfolios and undertake multifaceted patent litigation matters. His full-service firm, headquartered in Makati, has four other offices in Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Davao to represent global brands and local companies across the country.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan 

The largest full-service firm in the country, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan operates a market-leading IP practice; in recognition of this, it recently won Philippines IP Firm of the Year at the inaugural Global IP Awards. Not only does the firm enjoy the lion’s share of the local patent work, it also represents household name clients from all around the globe in commercially crucial litigation battles. Head of the IP department Vida Panganiban-Alindogan is a magnet for clients in the fashion, luxury goods, technology and pharmaceuticals sectors; her wisdom and judgement are truly superb. Partner Enrique Manuel has over 30 years of experience encompassing all aspects of intellectual property and is a member of a host of influential IP organisations.

Individuals

  • Edmund Baranda - Baranda & Associates, an affiliated law firm to Rouse
  • Alex Ferdinand Fider - Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW)
  • Enrique T Manuel - SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan
  • Enrico Astudillo - EB Astudillo & Associates
  • Mila Federis - Federis & Associates
  • Divina Pastora V Ilas-Panganiban - Quisumbing Torres
  • Noel A Laman - Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose
  • Richmond K Lee - Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW)
  • Bienvenido A Marquez III - Quisumbing Torres
  • Vida M Panganiban-Alindogan - SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan
  • Ignacio S Sapalo - Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan