THE Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the petition filed by the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP) challenging the constitutionality of the country's accession to the Madrid Protocol and its implementation in the Philippines.
The magistrates, voting 13-0, junked the petition for certiorari filed by the IPAP seeking to declare the country's accession to the Protocol relating to the Madrid agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol) unconstitutional on the ground of the lack concurrence by the senate, being it a treaty.
The Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines is an association of more than a hundred firms and individual practitioners engaged in the field of intellectual property law.
The SC ruled that former President Benigno Aquino III's ratification of the protocol without senate concurrence is valid and constitutional because the Madrid protocol is an executive agreement as determined by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The protocol makes it possible to protect a mark in a large number of countries by obtaining an international registration that has effect in each of the designated Contracting Parties.
It also allows the processing of foreign trademark applications without a resident agent or representative, which according to the petitioners amends the Intellectual Property Code.
The Court in its ruling sustained the respondent DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario's determination that the Madrid Protocol was an executive agreement not requiring Senate concurrence.
The Court also found that there was no conflict between the Madrid Protocol and the IP code of the Philippines, which the petitioners claimed.
Aside from Del Rosario, the two other respondents in the case are Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines Ricardo Blancaflor.
On December 14, 2012, the IPAP filed a petition for certiorari with the SC seeking to declare the said respondents to have acted with grave abuse of discretion.
The petitioner asserted that the Executive Secretary Ochoa failed to assist the President in matters pertaining to legislation and the DFA Secretary on the other hand, for failing to recommend its submission to the Senate for its concurrence as provided in the Philippine Constitution.
Also, the petitioners said that the Director General of the IPAP must also be held for grave abuse of discretion for implementing the Madrid Protocol despite the alleged constitutional infirmity.
Associate Justice Francis Jardaleza took no part in the voting due to his previous participation as Solicitor General, while Justice Jose Mendoza is on leave. (Sunnex)