IPOPHL to raise IPR awareness
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - May 1, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) intends to implement programs that would increase awareness of the public and improve enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) to ensure the country would remain out of the Office of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) Watch List.

IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor said in a press conference    yesterday that while the country’s removal from the USTR’s list of countries with IPR violations and problems is a milestone, challenges remain such as internet piracy, changing technology and prosecution of those involved in the sale of counterfeit items.       

“What steps do we have to take so we will not be back on the list? We    have to be vigilant,” he said.       

The IPOPHL, Blancaflor said, would implement programs that would increase the awareness of the public on the importance of IPR so that they would    stop patronizing counterfeit products.       

Based on a survey conducted by the agency, 54 percent of the respondents know about IPR.       

“What we want is to bring this (54 percent) to 100 percent. They should not just have awareness, but also have respect for IP,” IPOPHL deputy director general Allan Gepty added.      

 The IPOPHL is working with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to come up with a model ordinance which would cover activities to raise the public’s IPR consciousness.       

The IPOPHL is also continuing with the training of prosecutors on IPR.       

The government, he added, would continue to strengthen IPR enforcement efforts.       

The USTR announced earlier this week that the Philippines has been removed from the USTR’s Special 301 Report Watch List given legislative and regulatory reforms to enhance the protection and enforcement of IPR here.       

The Philippines has been continuously placed either in the Priority Watch List or Watch List since 1994.       

The Special 301 Report is an annual review of the state of IPR protection and enforcement of  America’s trading partners.       

Placement on the Priority Watch List or Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country or economy with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on IP.     

ALLAN GEPTY DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF THE PHILIPPINES IPR LIST PRIORITY WATCH LIST REPORT WATCH LIST RICARDO BLANCAFLOR WATCH LIST
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