Stung by USTR report, IPO vows to step up drive against piracy

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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) has vowed to ?work harder? to remove the country from the piracy watch list issued recently by the US government.

In its latest Special 301 Report, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) retained the Philippines in its ordinary watch list due to Washington?s piracy concerns over the Internet.

In a statement, IPOPHIL Director General Ricardo Blancaflor assured ?vigorous efforts? to address the enforcement of the intellectual property rights by law enforcement agencies in the country.

Blancaflor cited the agency?s anti-piracy and counterfeiting activities in the country with ?a record breaking volume of seizures? two years ago and with the passing of the Internet treaty law last March 22.

The IPOPHIL chief said he is hoping the Philippines will be removed by the USTR from the watch list after Washington?s conduct of an off-cycle review.

In the report, the USTR cited the passage of the law amending the IP Code as the Philippines ?brought to a close a longstanding legislative effort to modernize its copyright and IPR enforcement regimes consistent with the WIPO Internet Treaties.?

While the US said it is hopeful that the implementation of the 2011 Supreme Court IPR procedural rules will lead to a more efficient judicial process for IPR cases, it remains concerned about the need to strengthen criminal enforcement of IPR and to improve predictability with respect to search and seizure orders.?

?The United States also remains concerned about amendments to the Patent Law that limit the patentability of certain chemical forms unless the applicant demonstrates increased efficacy,? it said.

It added: ?The United States looks to the Philippines to take important steps to address piracy over the Internet, in particular with respect to notorious online markets.?

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