IPOPHL Calls for Vigilance of IP Rights Threats

17 August 2020

IPOPHL Calls for Vigilance of IP Rights Threats

Citing the vast opportunities the COVID crisis has presented to fraudulent traders at the moment, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Deputy Director General Teodoro C. Pascua has encouraged brand owners to take the necessary basic measures to protect their IP assets.

“Trademark owners must keep their eyes open more than ever. They must proactively coordinate with IPOPHL and other IP rights enforcing agencies pertinent to intercepting and weeding out counterfeits in local commerce. They should also make the most of technology, like social media, to help consumers and enforcement authorities more easily distinguish genuine products from fakes. They, themselves, must also continuously learn of the emerging challenges the COVID situation is posing to trademark enforcement in the country,” the official added.

This comes after the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has destroyed P500 million worth of counterfeit goods at the height of the COVID crisis to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the country from the entry of fake goods.

"The BOC, as vanguard to the country’s borders, is crucial in ensuring that shipments for counterfeit and illegal trade do not reach local markets, deterring any harm to investor confidence, the economy and public health and safety. Also an active member of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), the BOC, particularly its IP Rights Division, continuously undergoes training to better police shipments and craft effective border protection policies,” he said. “BOC’s destruction forms part of NCIPR’s mandate of increasing public awareness against counterfeiting and piracy. We hope our collective and vigorous awareness efforts will influence attitudes of consumers and purveyors on counterfeiting and piracy and build public support against it."

In January to June this year, IP rights violation complaints lodged at IPOPHL’s IP Rights Enforcement Office totalled 80, 66% higher than the 47 reports received for the entire year of 2019. Counterfeit and trademark infringement accounted for the bulk with 36 reports or 45% of the total.

The goods alleged to be counterfeit include apparel, accessories, cigarettes, hard drives, surgical masks, N95 respirators, and a bleach product.


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