EU removes PH from priority IPR watch list

Published January 26, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippines has been cleared from a priority label in the European Union’s (EU) watch list of intellectual property rights (IPR) violators.

This is the first time the Philippines was delisted from any Priority category. Since 2015, the country had been a Priority 3, already a downgrade from its enlistment as Priority 2 in the years prior.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said the Philippines has been removed from the European Commission’s biennial watch list titled the “Report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries” released on January 8, 2020.

The report attributed its decision to remove the Philippines’ from Priority 3 category the least concerning of all three priorities, with Priority 1 economies posing the biggest threat to the “very few complaints received from stakeholders and the increase in the relative importance of other countries for EU right holders.”

“Due to the few complaints, IPR holders in EU only deemed it strategic to put the Philippines aside and give more importance in looking after other countries who have an increasing potential to let loose on counterfeiting and piracy activities,” Officer-in-Charge Director General Teodoro C. Pascua said.

“This European Commission report is one of the latest major indicators that manifests the effectivity of the work being done for the past years at IPOPHL and the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) which it vice chairs. NCIPR officials and officers are committed to going after IPR violators, finding it a meaningful duty to protect the country from the sabotage counterfeiting and piracy brings to an economy, culture, and overall national progress,” Pascua said.

While the development marks a win for the Philippines’ reputation in its governance in deterring counterfeiting and piracy, EU said it will remain to closely monitor the IPR environment in the country as it noted that “the situation has not improved over the last years.”