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Volume of seized fake goods up

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - July 6, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Counterfeit goods confiscated by the government jumped 215 percent in terms of value in the January to May period compared to a year ago, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said.

IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor said the value of fake items seized reached P6.845 billion as of end-May, way above the P2.173 billion in the comparable period a year ago. 

He said the the increase was due to “concerted and joint operations of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and BOC (Bureau of Customs).”

He noted that the joint operations of the two agencies involved the confiscation of P4.145 billion worth of goods for the five-month period. 

The IPOPHL is upbeat that the value of seized counterfeit items will continue to increase in the coming months.

“The operations will continue at present levels,” Blancaflor said.

He also said more joint operations are expected to be undertaken.

Apart from the NBI and BOC, other agencies of the National Committee on IP Rights which can visit business establishments with IP violations and seize counterfeit items are the Philippine National Police, Optical Media Board and Food and Drug Administration.

Last year, the IPOPHL’s haul of counterfeit goods were valued at P7.76 billion.

Blancaflor said earlier the IPOPHL is hopeful this year’s total can match 2011’s all-time high which reached P8.3 billion.

He also said the IPOPHL plans to implement programs aimed at increasing the public’s awareness as well as improving enforcement of IP rights to keep the Philippines out of the Office of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) list of countries tagged with IP problems.

In April, the Philippines was removed from the USTR’s Special 301 report Watch List amid legislative and regulatory reforms to enhance the protection and enforcement of IP here.

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

BLANCAFLOR BUREAU OF CUSTOMS DRUG ADMINISTRATION IN APRIL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NATIONAL COMMITTEE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PRIORITY WATCH LIST WATCH LIST
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