Philippines keeps ranking in US IP index
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines kept its ranking in the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) International Intellectual Property (IP) Index 2020, but it registered a higher overall score from a year ago amid efforts against online counterfeiting and piracy.

The index, which evaluates the IP framework in each economy, showed the Philippines got an overall score of 39.94 percent this year, up from 36 percent last year. However, its ranking remained at 37th out of 53 economies.

This, as the Philippines got positive marks in 19.97 out of 50 indicators tracked by this year’s index, also an improvement from 16.2 out of 45 indicators last year.

Indicators used by USCC are grouped in nine categories of protection: patents, copyrights, trademarks, design rights, trade secrets, commercialization of IP assets, enforcement, systemic efficiency, and membership and ratification of international treaties.

Contributing to the improvement in the Philippines’ score is the availability of frameworks to promote cooperative action against online piracy through proposed legislative measures such as House Bill 9148 or the New IP Act and Senate Bill 497 or the Philippine Online Infringing Act.

HB 9148 seeks to allow the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to issue notice-and-takedown orders to address online piracy and counterfeiting.

The bill would also enable copyright owners to claim damages from infringing sites and grant them ownership of the domain name of the infringing site.

Meanwhile, SB 497 would give IPOPHL the power to order cancellation of an internet service provider’s operating license when it fails to remove infringing content within 10 days from receipt of notice from the agency.

In addition, the index considered IPOPHL’s focus group discussion with online selling platforms in order to work together in addressing availability of counterfeit goods, as well as anti-infringement efforts put in place by online retailers such as Zalora and Lazada.

“The index will continue to monitor these developments in 2020,” the report read.

Commenting on the index, IPOPHL officer-in-charge director general Teodoro Pascua said the agency welcomes the findings.

“We are most glad for its careful and positive observation on the progress of the country’s IP rights environment, especially on enforcement which is entrenched in IPOPHL’s endeavor to protect creativity and innovation,” he said.

He said IPOPHL is set to continue to step up efforts for IP rights protection this year as the IP rights enforcement office is ironing out guidelines to be in step with the modern business model.

“It has also identified critical players in the supply chain of counterfeit trade with whom we believe we should engage. We want to encourage them to set up their own mechanisms that will prevent counterfeiters, including those indirectly contributing to counterfeit trade, from utilizing their channels for criminal operations,” he said.

The US ranked first in this year’s index, while the United Kingdom placed second, followed by France on third spot.

Venezuela, on the other hand, was at the bottom of the list or at 53rd place.

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