IPOPHL to run after online counterfeits

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) vowed to institute new programs and activities and policies to fight online counterfeiting to further strengthen intellectual property rights protection in the country following positive results that kept the Philippines away for the 8th consecutive year from the Special 301 Watch List of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

“It’s our 8th straight year out of the watch list. This shows Philippines has really progressed a lot,” said  IPOPHL Director General Teodoro Pascua.

On a positive note, the USTR considered the Philippines’ anti-camcording law as example and best practice. Pascua also noted that traditional cinemas where illegal camcording are mostly done have remained closed since last year and not many theaters are likely to reopen soon. Also, he said, Netflix and streaming are viable replacement for movies. 

Greenhills, which was listed in the USTR’s notorious list of shopping center that are also hubs for counterfeit goods, was removed from the list.

He vowed that the government will still be instituting new programs/policies and activities on online counterfeiting and policies.

The USTR, however, raised concerns on Philippines being one of the leading sources of counterfeit medicines, GI (geographical indication), and slow processing on cancellation proceedings of bad faith trademarks.

On counterfeit medicines, Pascua said that this allegation was based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report and had been there for about two years already.

According to Pascua, the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation and the Food and Drug Administration vehemently denied such allegation. Pascua said that it could be that these counterfeit medical were transported into the country as he doubted on the local capability to manufacture fake medicines.

On the slow processing on trademark cancellation and opposition, Pascua said this was already answered. He, however, said that the new processes of mediation and arbitration will greatly address this concern.

In its 2021 Special 301 Report, which lists countries that violate intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, the USTR praised the Philippines for being able to adopt laws that prevented unauthorized camcording.

The Philippines was flagged again by the US Trade Representative (USTR) as among the leading sources of counterfeit medicines distributed globally during the pandemic year, but was cited as model in fighting illegal camcording.   

In its 2021 Special 301 Report on intellectual property rights protection and enforcement by its trading partners, the USTR also raised concerns on Despite these concerns, the Philippines managed to stay out for a consecutive 8 years from the Special 301 Watch List, a list of countries that violates American intellectual property rights.