By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has tasked the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) to crack down on online selling and distribution of counterfeit and pirated goods.
“There is unfettered vending/selling and distribution of contraband goods online especially pharmaceutical and wellness and beauty products,” IPOPHL deputy director general Teodoro Pascua said in a press conference held Thursday in Cebu City.
Nearly a hundred law enforcers and prosecutors are here in Cebu, June 20-21, for a workshop for law enforcement agencies and public prosecutors on development of intellectual property laws and best practices to find common grounds, strengthen coordination and enhance knowledge and information on IP laws for a more effective and efficient enforcement of the law, Pascua said
According to Pascua the Philippines is one of the countries that implemented IP laws and protocols which made the European Union (EU) downgrade the ranking of PH to the 3rd level, an indication of trade attraction for business coming to the PHL. Yet, cracking down on online piracy has always been a challenge.
According to Atty. Chester Cinco, chief of Trademark Examination Division 3 of the Bureau of Trademarks and head of the NCIPR secretariat that based on the data submitted and verified from January to April 2019, NCIPR seized over P663.3 million worth of counterfeit and pirated goods.
The top confiscated goods are pharmaceutical and personal care valued at P450 million, followed by hand bags and wallets at P72 million and watches and jewelry worth P69 million, Cinco bared.
Cinco said that from 2008 to 2018, NCIPR seized counterfeit and pirated goods valued at P89,576,608,950; pharmaceutical and personal care – P1,231,163,090; and handbags and wallets worth P820,903,286.
On 21 June 2008, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through Executive Order-736 formally established the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) institutionalizing permanent units to promote, protect and enforce intellectual property rights in different law enforcement under the coordination of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR).