A brief survey of the trademark database of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) shows that trademark filings have declined drastically in 2020. Trademark applications for the first half of 2020 have decreased by a significant twenty-nine percent (29%) compared to the same period in 2019.

A graph showing the comparative number of trademark filings between 2019 and 2020 shows a significant decline in 2020.

Marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IPOPHL trademark database reveals that for the first half of 2020 (10 January to 30 June), the trademark bureau received a total of 13,064 trademark applications. Such number was considerably less compared to the applications received the same period last year which was 18,625.

A scrutiny of trademark applications through the first six months of 2020 shows that the month of April has sustained the most decrease with 2,163 fewer trademark applications compared to April last year.  The decrease in filings translates to a whopping 71%. Such decline is quite expected considering the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in April. The ECQ is a government-imposed lockdown measure that restricted businesses and transportation in Metro Manila where the IPOPHL holds office.

What seemed to be a silver lining, the month of June showed a promising recovery in terms of the number of trademark filings. Compared to last year, filings during the month of June were only fewer by 228 trademark applications.

Trademark applications are good indicators of commercial activity in the Philippines. This is even made more significant by the fact that the Philippines requires the submission of proof of use to maintain a trademark registration. Accordingly, a vast number of these trademark filings are expected to translate into the introduction of goods and services covered by said marks into the Philippine commercial sphere.