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IPOPHL partners with OADR to strengthen alternative dispute resolution of IP cases

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MAKING IP DISPUTES EASIER: From left, OADR Executive Director Irene de Torres Alogoc, and Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines Director General Rowel S. Barba inked an agreement to provide alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services for resolving all intellectual property (IP) cases in the country.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has partnered with the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution (OADR) to further develop and promote IPOPHL’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services as a prime channel for resolving all intellectual property (IP) cases in the country.

“We see the importance of ADR as the country starts to recover from the pandemic and transition to a more robust economic activity. As we reinvigorate the business sector, the last thing that we would like to see are companies bogged down by long and litigious disputes in court,” Director General Rowel S. Barba said at the March 7 ceremony for the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OADR.

“ADR is a feasible option in settling disputes and is fast, flexible and cost-effective. Our court system will benefit immensely with the use of ADR in settling commercial disputes and allow the courts to unclog their case dockets,” he added.

The IPOPHL chief noted that IPOPHL has been actively upgrading its processes and launching new mediation services to cater to stakeholders’ needs.

In 2021, the BLA mediated 195 cases, 47% higher than the 133 cases in 2020. Settled cases also increased by 32% to 54.

IPOPHL’s newest partnership furthers OADR’s accreditation of its mediation service in 2020 for its compliance with national ADR standards — a distinction only IPOPHL holds among all government offices. The MOU thus, is a significant step in enhancing the referral to and handling of more IP cases and disputes by the BLA and its ADR services.

To prepare the BLA for its bigger responsibility, the OADR commits to work with  IPOPHL in developing, improving, implementing and promoting its ADR programs through training of its ADR officers

The MOU also paves the way for the development through joint ADR training programs to elevate the competencies of professionals handling IP disputes through ADR.

Both IPOPHL and the OADR commit to promote and support each other’s ADR programs towards the protection of IP rights.

For her part, OADR Executive Director Irene de Torres Alogoc lauded IPOPHL for its work in solidifying its ADR service and in promoting the advancement of ADR services across government agencies.

“In terms of ADR, [IPOPHL] has established an effective ADR program that complements the adjudication of IP cases and disputes pursuant to its mandate under the IP Code, and embarks on developmental and capacity-building projects including basic and level up training for IPOPHL mediators and external stakeholders, in collaboration or cooperation with public and private organizations,” Alogoc said.

“I express my sincerest gratitude to IPOPHL for your unwavering support to the OADR. We laud your advocacies and achievements that uphold ADR in the protection of intellectual property rights,” Alogoc added.

An attached agency of the Department of Justice, the OADR was created pursuant to Republic Act 9285 or the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004.

It is mandated to promote, develop and expand the use of ADR in the private and public sectors; assist government to monitor, study and evaluate the use by the public and private sector of ADR; and recommend to Congress legislative changes to develop, strengthen and improve ADR practices in line with world standards.

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