IPOPHL to stop counterfeiting in marketplaces
16 January 2023
In response to the European Commission's most recent Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has committed to stop counterfeiting and piracy in four local marketplaces.
The local markets included by the European Commission in its watch list, which was released in December, are Baclaran, Divisoria, the Greenhills Shopping Center, and the Cartimar Shopping Center, according to a statement issued by IPOPHL over the weekend.
The European Commission stated in a working document that "Baclaran and Divisoria markets in Manila are reported to offer a wide range of counterfeit goods on a retail and wholesale basis, in particular shoes, with some stalls allegedly also running online shops offering counterfeit goods."
The letter also mentioned claims that "better quality" counterfeit items are being sold at the Greenhills and Cartimar shopping centers.
The European Commission reported using information from the National Bureau of Investigation that a single seizure operation in Greenhills in April 2022 found one million euros (P59.5 million) worth of potentially counterfeit items.
Since the list's introduction in 2018, IPOPHL claims that this is the first instance of the Philippine markets being mentioned.
Rowel Barba, director general of IPOPHL, urged the concerned local government units (LGU) to strictly adhere to the IP Code of 1997 and any IP-related directives issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Memorandum Circular 2020-124, one of the publications of the DILG, requires local offices to draft an ordinance that, among other things, will facilitate the termination of business licences and other LGU-issued operational licenses of IP-violating shops.
Additionally, IPOPHL wants to provide sellers with educational opportunities to help them comprehend the socioeconomic costs associated with IP infringement.
The long-term economic and social benefits of promoting strong IP rights protection, whether in e-commerce or traditional markets, could ultimately benefit their communities, said Barba.
- Excel Dyquiangco