Gov’t says it’s illegal for firms to sell online without registration

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is pushing for the registration of businesses that are selling their products online to protect intellectual property rights in the country.

IPOPHL deputy director Teodoro Pascua

“All of us know that on Facebook, you could find sellers. They don’t have stores, but they could sell. That’s illegal,” IPOPHL deputy director Teodoro Pascua said in an interview with reporters on Friday, March 15.

The IPOPHL is coordinating with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for Facebook to take down the social media pages of the illegal online businesses.

“If they are not registered, the public can file a complaint before the NTC. The NTC blocks you off or reported to Facebook. Their pages may be taken down on Facebook. We want to have that mechanism,” Pascua said.

The IPOPHL said they want online businesses to register with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in order to deter incidents of IP violations, particularly the sale of pirated or counterfeit goods.

Pascua said the agency had a meeting with DTI secretary Ramon Lopez to present the National Intellectual Property Strategy and had his assurance that the department would implement policies to protect IP in the country.

The IP office stressed the importance of cooperation of trademark owners in creating public awareness on intellectual property protection.

“The National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights will do a representation, but we need the trademark owners to work with us. We’re working for trademark owners to trust the Intellectual Property Office,” Pascua said. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)