Jump-starting mediation in the Philippines


Editha Hechanova

In its 2011 annual report, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) reported that it disposed of 243 inter partes and intellectual property violation cases.

Eighty-nine (37 percent) of these cases were judgments based on compromise agreements resulting from the mediation process that was ‘re-introduced’ in January, 2011.

IPOPHL has been offering mediation services since May 2001, but very few cases were settled through this process. Before 2011, mediation was held on a voluntary basis during the pre-trial stage of cases pending before the Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA), IPOPHL’s adjudicating arm, and conducted by IPOPHL employees who were trained as mediators.

Challenged by the ever-continuing presence of the Philippines in the US Trade Representative’s 301 report and watchlist of countries with significant counterfeiting problems, in addition to simplifying its rules of procedure in handling cases, IPOPHL improved its alternative dispute resolution capability, and on January 29, 2010, it created its own Mediation Office.

IPOPH, Philippines, mediation services, fees