February 3, 2023

A company’s brand is a “valuable asset” that requires intellectual property (IP) protection, especially with e-commerce booming and IP violations on the rise, a panel of experts reminds micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Atty. Rowel Barba, director general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), in an online forum last month urged companies to ensure IP protection for their brand because it is “an asset with economic value.”
He noted the rise in notifications of IPO violations in the first half of the year amid the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. IPOPHL has received 80 reports and complaints in the first semester of 2020, “which is already 66 percent higher than the 47 reports we received for the entire 2019.”
He appealed to consumers to patronize local original products and “our legitimate MSMEs and businesses who are crying for help and support from the consuming Filipinos” in this time of pandemic.
Atty. Anthony Bengzon, IP lawyer at the Bengzon, Negre, Untalan law firm, stressed in the same e-forum that “brand” is not just about the company name, trademark and logo.
“Your brand encompasses a lot more, he said, and can include components such as products, business cards, letterheads, presentations, advertising, social media, word of mouth, customer service, uniforms, and packaging,” he said.
He suggested for MSMEs to conduct an “audit” of these brand components in terms of how well they are protected online.
He also recommended the creation of a dedicated brand marketing and protection team to shield these components from the many threats existing online.
Bengzon added IP protection is crucial because it is harder to monitor counterfeit products online since “you don’t have a physical address or store to go after.”
Ma. Sherill Quintana, homegrown-brand advocate and president of Oryspa Spa Solutions, agreed that a company’s brand is an asset that can help MSMES grow and scale up their operations, go into franchising, and enter export markets .– Press release