Rico V. Domingo is admitted to the Philippine Bar (with Rolls of Attorneys Number 27470), the State of New York Bar, United States of America, and the U.S. Federal District Courts (with Attorney Registration No. 2051449), the Philippine Intellectual Property Office, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C.
Rico is a consistent Iskolar ng Bayan at the University of the Philippines, being a product of the State University’s Elementary School (1964), High School (1968), College of Arts and Sciences (A.B., 1971) and College of Law (1976) from where he obtained his Bachelor of Law degree (Ll.B., equivalent to Juris Doctor). He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Philippine Law Journal, the Law Review of the U.P. College of Law, and ranked among the top 10 percentile of his original Law Class. He obtained his Master of Laws (LI.M.) degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A., and earned substantial units at the Kelly Business School leading to a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Rico undertook intensive Post- Graduate Studies at the Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. specializing in Trade Practice of Trade Policy: Economics, Negotiations and Rule under a combined Faculty of John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.
He is the 54th President of the Philippine Bar Association (PBA), the oldest voluntary national organization of lawyers in the Philippines which was founded on April 8, 1891. The PBA counts among its members the crème a la crème of law practitioners in this jurisdiction. To spread its international footprint, under Rico’s watch the PBA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New State Bar Association (NYSBA) witnessed by the newly-installed Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court and attended by the NYSBA President and International Section Chairman. Rico is the Philippine Chapter Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Section of the NYSBA.
Rico is the Chairman and Lead Convenor of the newly-incorporated Movement Against Disinformation (MAD), Inc. which core advocacy is to effectively address the proliferation in the mass media of disinformation, misinformation and fake news through the Internet and analogous social media platforms.
He was elected in January 2023 for a three (3)-year term as the 17th President of the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP) – – affiliated with Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriete Industrielle (AIPPI), the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) – – which is composed of the leading legal practitioners in intellectual property rights (copyright, trademark, unfair competition, trade secrets, digital rights, etc.) in the Philippines, Asia Pacific and ASEAN Regions and other jurisdictions. As IPAP President, Rico is concurrently the Philippine Group President in the APAA and AIPPI. An organization founded in December 1969, the APAA is composed of twenty-one recognized groups from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Macau, Cambodia, Nepal, Laos, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. IPAP will be hosting in 2024 an international convention of APAA delegates where around 1,200 to 1,500 overseas legal IP practitioners are expected to attend. Early in his term, IPAP has initiated a nationwide program to assist pro bono the micro, small and medium enterprises and business stakeholders in protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights.
An academician, Rico taught at Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism, Communication Department of the Ateneo de Manila University, and has been teaching since 2000 Constitutional Law, Media Law and Ethics, Remedial Law and Intellectual Property Law at the Ateneo School of Law and other premier Law Schools, including the U.P. Law Center. He is a Philippine Supreme Court- accredited Lecturer in its Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). He is likewise a Lecturer and Faculty of the New York State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) – – a rare and, perhaps, an unprecedented distinction given to a Filipino practicing lawyer and academician in this jurisdiction, and in recognition of Rico’s stature in the international legal community.
In January 2023, Rico was designated by the En Banc Philippine Supreme Court Member of the Technical Working Group for the Amendment of Bar Matter No. 850 on Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).
He is a certified Arbitrator of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitral Tribunal, where he recently adjudicated with a former Supreme Court Chief Justice and a British Queen’s Counsel a major partnership dispute involving high-profile personalities in the auditing industry.
Following the 1986 EDSA Revolution, he had a brief stint in government service when he was appointed the first Chairman of the Videogram Regulatory Board (now the Optical Media Board) and General Counsel of the Film Board. He later joined the Motion Picture Export Association of America/Motion Picture Association of America as its Asia/Pacific Regional Counsel and Deputy Director for Operations headquartered in Singapore with responsibility for 21 countries including the Peoples Republic of China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
He decided to hang his own shingle in October, 1992 to pursue a multi-jurisdictional law practice through a Law Firm that bears his name. He concurrently founded a business and competitive intelligence consultancy firm which provides, among others, brand or intellectual property rights protection, risk management services and litigation support.
He has litigated watershed and precedential cases up to the Philippine Supreme Court which are currently landmark jurisprudence in Intellectual Property, Corporation and Remedial Laws. He stands as “Philippine Law Expert” in various international litigation pending before United States and European Union Courts of Justice.
Rico was the Team Leader of the SRI International-Washington, D.C. Research Group and Lead Author of The Main Report on Improving Adjudication Procedures for the Resolution of Intellectual Property Rights Cases in the Philippines the substantial findings and recommendations of which became the pedagogical blueprint of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8293) enacted in 1998. He was designated Philippine Expert in a Philippine Judicial Reform Programme on Access to Justice funded by the European Union.
Apart from being the Chair of the Philippine Chapter of NYSBA’s International, Rico is a member of NYSBA’s Executive Committee. He is likewise a member of various international organizations including the American Bar Association (ABA) and its Sections of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law, International Law and Practice, Entertainment and Sports Industries, and Law Practice Management, the Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriete Industrielle (AIPPI), the International Trademark Association (INTA), the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA), and the International Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
He was the Country Group Head and Councillor of the ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (AIPA).
Rico was Past Director and Secretary of the Rotary Club of Manila (Classification: Law Practice – Continuing Legal Education), and a Paul Harris Fellow in 1986 with the Rotary Club of Makati North, and in 2009 with the Rotary Club of Manila where he was the Star Rotarian of the Year 2007 to 2008.
A recognized lecturer and panelist, Rico speaks in various domestic and international fora on international business transactions, cross-border litigation and arbitration and intellectual property rights enforcement and protection.