Gov’t notifies vendors of intensified crackdown on fake goods

The National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) has issued a warning to vendors in Greenhills Shopping Center to stop selling fake and counterfeit goods and comply with intellectual property-related laws.

IPOPHL director-general Josephine R. Santiago (left) handing a notice of warning to a vendor in Greenhills

The move is part of a broader and coordinated government campaign to crackdown on vendors, distributors, and sources of counterfeit and pirated goods in Metro Manila.

The warning was issued on March 23 in a surprise inspection of the known piracy hub where the NCIPR issued notices to vendors, reminding them to comply with intellectual property-related laws.

The campaign will be elevated and intensified from information dissemination to eventual confiscation in the following months in other hotbeds of counterfeit and pirated goods in Metro Manila.

“Selling fake goods is illegal. Activities in violation of the intellectual property-related laws are not only the concern of the DTI and the IPOPHL. This is taken as a serious matter by all agencies involved in curtailing the illicit trade of counterfeit and pirated products,” said IPOPHL director-general Josephine R. Santiago.

The NCIPR, the inter-agency body tasked to curb piracy and fake goods trade, has as its chair the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the IPOPHL as its vice chair. Other members are the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local

Government, Bureau of Customs, National Telecommunications Commission, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Optical Media Board, National Book Development Board, Food and Drug Administration and the Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime.

According to IPOPHL deputy director general Teodoro C. Pascua, there is a need to focus on these hubs of piracy as these have already become known tourist spots, thus perpetuating a reputation of the Philippines as a dumping ground for counterfeit goods.

Pascua added that implementing a holistic approach to the enforcement of intellectual property rights can lead to a domino effect of uncovering other infractions.

According to Pascua, in the inspection of counterfeit goods, other illicit activities of the business-owner can be exposed such as the improper payment of Customs duties and income taxes. With the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue involved in the NCIPR, the process of apprehending perpetrators can be expedited, he said.

“Through a resolution agreed on by NCIPR agencies in March, there will be regular inspections of these hubs, with the end goal of making physical marketplaces intellectual-property compliant,” said Pascua, who oversees IPOPHL’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Office.

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