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Atty. Somera heads V&A Law’s Intellectual Property Department. He is well-recognized as an authority in the field of intellectual property in the Philippines and is consistently ranked in the top tier of the World Trademark Review, Legal 500 Asia-Pacific Guide and Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific Ranking for Intellectual Property. In 2017 and 2018, he was awarded the Lexology Clients Choice Award for Trademarks and was the first Filipino recipient for trademarks. He was also recently listed as a distinguished practitioner in intellectual property in Asialaw 2020.

With over thirty (30) years of experience, Atty. Somera has expertise in handling all facets of intellectual property law, from prosecution to enforcement, litigation and commercialization of traditional as well as novel intellectual property matters. He has published several articles on intellectual property law and served as resource speaker on the subject in the Philippines and international fora.  Following the end of his term as V&A Law’s Managing Partner in 2015, Atty. Somera has since focused his efforts on broadening the already diverse patent and trademark portfolio of the Firm. He devotes particular attention to sharpening the Intellectual Property Department’s expertise in specific practice areas of IP law, particularly, patent and trademark litigation and copyright protection which have served to distinguish V&A Law from its counterparts in the Philippines.

Atty. Somera has held and continues to occupy key positions in local and international IP organizations as well as in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). He is a council member of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) where he was previously Vice-President. He also served as a councilor of the ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (AIPA). Atty. Somera is also a notable figure in the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI). He was also a former member of the Editorial Board of the World Patent and Trademark News, an international journal on intellectual property news and articles. In the Philippines, he was a former officer of the Licensing Executives Society-Philippines (LESP) and a former President and Chairman of the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP)—the largest association of intellectual property practitioners in the Philippines. He was also an accredited Mediator for appellate cases having completed his training at the Philippine Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

With his strong devotion to the development of the field of intellectual property and his stature in the Philippine legal profession, Atty. Somera also serves as a frequent lecturer on intellectual property in various seminars for lawyers including the MCLE.

EDUCATION
 
Bachelor of Laws – University of the Philippines, Class 1985
B.S. Business Economics – University of the Philippines, Class 1981
 
PRESENT POSITION/S
 
  • Senior Partner and Head of the Intellectual Property Department –The Firm Villaraza & Angangco Law
  • Governor – Integrated Bar of the Philippines Southern Luzon Region
  • Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines – Council of Advisers
  • Asian Patent Attorneys Association – Council Member
  • Association for the Protection of Industrial Property – Anti-Counterfeiting Committee Member
  • University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) – Legal Counsel; Director
 
PAST POSITIONS HELD
  • Managing Partner/Chief Operating Officer – Villaraza & Angangco Law (2013-2015)
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines  (Makati City Chapter) – President (2013-2015)
  • Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines – Director and Secretary (1993-1999) President (2003-2004) Chairman (2005-2008)
  • Licensing Executives Society of the Philippines – Director and Vice-President (1994-1999)
  • Council to Combat Counterfeiting  and Piracy of Patents, Copyright and Trademarks (COMPACT) – Director and Secretary (1990-1994)
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines-National Committee on Legal Aid Director (2003-2006)
  • Integrated Bar of the Phlippines, Caloocan City-Malabon-Navotas Chapter – Director (1993-1995), (1997-1999)
  • Philippine Bar Association – First Vice President (2006-2007) Director (2001-2005/ 2006-2007) Treasurer (2001-2002)
 
Membership in Professional, Civic and Cultural Organizations
 
Local
 
  • Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP)
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES)
  • Philippine Bar Association (PBA)
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)
  • Sigma Rho Council
 
International
 
  • Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA)
  • Asean Intellectual Property Association (AIPA)
  • International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI)
 
Conferences/Workshops Attended
 
  • Attended 15th  IBP National Convention of Lawyers held in Cebu City on 20-22 March 2015
  • Attended FICPI & JPAA Kyoto Symposium held in Kyoto, Japan on 10-12 April 2013
  • Attended 4th Philippine Ant-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit held in Marriot Hotel, Makati City on 20 Oct. 2013
  • Attended the IPR Leaders Workshop held at Tokyo, Japan on 24-26 March 2003
  • Attended the Southeast Asian Legal Aid Conference held at Phnom, Penh, Cambodia on 25-28 November 2003.
  • Attends international conferences/workshops of Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA), Asean Intellectual Property Association (ASEAN-IPA), International Trademark Association (INTA), and Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI) conducted yearly.
 
Papers/Lectures Delivered
 
  • Lecturer at “The Asia-Pacific Basin; Investments and Opportunities” on 25 November 1994 sponsored by The Alumni of the Academy of American and International Law Philippine Chapter.
  • Lecturer at “Forum On Intellectual Property Rights” on 16 November 1996 sponsored by the National Telecommunications Commission.
  • Lecturer at “Issues and Updates on Internet Domain Names” on 09 August 2000 during the IP Forum 2000 sponsored by Executive Program, Inc. 
  • Lecturer at “IP Enforcement in the Philippines” on 12 March 2004 sponsored by the Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Foundation and Japan External Trade Organization Manila.
  • Lecturer at “IBP Southern Luzon Regional Convention & MCLE Seminar” on 17-20 November 2004 sponsored by IBP Rizal Chapter held at Hotel Pontefino, Batangas City
  • Lecturer at the Intellectual Property Rights Seminar in the Philippines on “Issues Involving Cable Television Piracy in the Philippines” held on 30 October 2008 at Dusit Hotel, sponsored by the Intellectual Property Alumni Association, Inc.
 
Publications
 
  • UPAA Maroon Pride, UPAA Official Magazine – Director-in-Charge
  • World Patent and Trademark News – Member of the Editorial Board 
  • Business Mirror, “On Firm Ground”, a business newspaper in the Philippines - Columnist
Other Notable and Significant Contributions
 
  • Established the Scholarship Program of the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP) for outstanding and deserving law students of University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and San Beda College.
  • Organized Nationwide Jail Decongestion Program of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
  • Currently represents a major Philippine Petroleum company in their IP Enforcement activities in the Philippines.
  • Currently handles the Philippine trademark and international domain name portfolio of one of the largest banks in the Philippines.
  • Counsels a major Philippine broadcasting network regarding its trademark portfolio and broadcasting and copyright issues.

Somera, Bienvenido I. Jr.

Senior Partner


bi.somera@thefirmva.com