The report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights released by the European Commission excluded the Philippines from among the list of countries seen damaging to IP interests of businesses in the European Union.
The Philippines was not among the priority countries identified in the report as those with deficiencies in IP rights protection and enforcement that may cause economic harm to EU interests.
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) director general Rowel Barba said the report is testament to the whole-of-society strategy of the IPOPHL-led National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights, “as it works closely with agencies and private sector partners to create a safe and enabling climate for innovation, creativity and business in the Philippines.”
He noted the country’s exclusion from the list preserves the country’s attractiveness to investors, particularly those from the EU.
Since the release of the previous report in January last year, there have been several major developments on IP protection and enforcement in the country.
Among the developments are the Supreme Court’s special rules on the prosecution of IP cases; progress in discussions of bills seeking to amend the IP Code by raising penalties for violations; and giving IPOPHL authority to order online sellers to take down infringing posts at the committee level.
Earlier this year, e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee entered into a memorandum of understanding with brand owners to fight the sale of counterfeit goods online through a quick notice and take-down system of IP-offending posts.
Counterfeiting and piracy used to be prevalent in the country but as the exclusion from the EU list has shown, the Philippines has made significant improvements when it comes to IP protection, enforcement and education in recent years.
The hard work of the IPOPHL and the private sector is paying off. Let’s help build on those gains by recognizing and respecting the value of intellectual property in this country.*