THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said it proposed to the Supreme Court the creation of more courts specializing in commercial matters to handle intellectual property rights (IPR) cases.

In a statement, IPOPHL said Director-General Josephine R. Santiago met with Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin on July 24, requesting the creation of more special commercial courts (SCCs) with the power to issue search warrants in connection with IPR cases.

“We believe the designation of additional SCCs to be located in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Northern Luzon will further bolster the Philippines’ standing in the areas of rule of law and administration of justice and will be beneficial, as this will serve a greater number of stakeholders,” Ms. Santiago was quoted as saying.

According to IPOPHL, SCCs are only located in Pasig, Makati, Manila, and Quezon cities.

“The request is made amid increased IPR cases over the years, relating particularly to trademark infringement,” IPOPHL said, adding that it will submit a report to the SC showing the effectivity of having courts focusing on IPR cases in other countries help in disposal and declogging of dockets.

It also requested the designation of Regional Trial Courts specializing in IPR cases as the SCCs for all commercial cases.

IPOPHL said Mr. Bersamin responded positively to the proposal, saying the designation of additional SCCs or special IPR courts is possible because Congress has agreed increase the number of trial courts. The chief justice also tasked Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta to review the guidelines.

Asked to comment, the SC’s Public Information Office head Brian Keith F. Hosaka said the court will consider the proposals of IPOPHL.

“The proposal of IPOPHL will indeed be seriously taken into consideration by the Supreme Court,” he said.

“However, there must be a formal resolution by the SC en banc before additional commercial courts are designated,” he added. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas