Thursday, February 29, 2024

Greenhills overhaul eyed after landing again on US ‘notorious markets’ list

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has vowed to work harder and closely cooperate with stakeholders to remove Greenhills Shopping Center from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Notorious Markets report.

Part of its initiatives is to “overhaul” the shopping center in San Juan City, which is known to be a physical marketplace for counterfeit goods such as electronics, perfumes, watches, shoes, accessories, and fashion items.

Released on Jan. 30, the USTR once again listed Greenhills in its 2023 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy. It was the lone marketplace in the Philippines to make it to the USTR Notorious Markets list.

“IPOPHL continues to work with the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) in fulfilling the work plan Overhaul Greenhills Project (OG Project) to eliminate stores selling counterfeit and other IP-infringing goods in the Greenhills Shopping Center,” IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba said in a statement Thursday, Feb. 1.

The OG Project eyes to convert Greenhills into a high-end mall with legitimate sellers.

“We will continue to work with rights holders, San Juan local government and the Greenhills management on seizures, issuance of warning letters and updates on the development of the shopping center into a high-end mall,” Barba added.

He said one of the IPOPHL’s priorities is to delist Greenhills from the USTR’s watch list while ensuring markets are clear from selling fake and IP infringing goods.

Barba reminded that selling counterfeit goods is a crime and harms the reputation of legitimate businesses, while dampening investors’ trust and evading taxes from the government that could have been spent to social programs for Filipinos.

“IPOPHL urges all sellers to uphold legitimate trade and support the sale of locally-made products to create a safe IP-driven economy where local businesses can flourish,” the IPOPHL chief said. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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