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Rules for courts hearing IP cases in force by mid-Nov.

rules for courts hearing ip cases in force by mid nov - Rules for courts hearing IP cases in force by mid-Nov.

THE Revised Rules of Procedure for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) cases will take effect on Nov. 16, the Supreme Court said, with aim of ultimately improving the investment climate to facilitate innovation.

“The 2020 IPR Rules are designed to foster a legal atmosphere that ultimately spurs creative activity and innovation, technology transfer, and foreign investment,” the Supreme Court said in a statement Friday.

A copy of the revised rules was published in newspapers over the weekend and on Monday.

The rules designate special commercial courts in Manila, Quezon City, Makati City, Pasig City, Baguio City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Davao City, with the power to act on search warrant applications in IPR enforcement cases.

“Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, the special commercial courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction to issue search warrants,” according to the rules.

The judge has 10 days to evaluate the application and has the power to immediately dismiss cases in the absence of probable cause of suspected IPR violations. Also among the judge’s powers is the authority to issue arrest warrants or commitment orders once probable cause is established.

Judges are also given 60 days to decide on a case, less than the 90 days allotted previously, due to the increasing number of intellectual property rights-related cases and heavy caseloads of special commercial courts.

The court said under the rules, evidence is now required to be included in the complaint and answer. An answer to the complaint may be filed 30 days from service of summons while answers to counterclaims or cross-claims have a 15-day deadline counting from the receipt of the answer.

The court said the rules include an amended provision on substituted service of summons and allow extraterritorial service of summons compliant with international conventions to which the Philippines is a party.

The rules also allow use of teleconferencing or videoconferencing in taking depositions and in other modes of discovery.

The rule on order of destruction was also overhauled to include disposal of infringing goods, and specifying the method for their disposal, which now includes humanitarian donations.

“However, (goods) classified as hazardous shall only be subject to destruction,” it said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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