Seized counterfeit goods up 58% to P8.38B in 2011
The total value of counterfeit and pirated products seized by the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) surged 58 percent to P8.38 billion in 2011 from the previous year’s P5.29 billion.
The value of the 2011 seizures was, so far, the highest recorded in the country’s history of confiscating replicas of popular brands, said Ricardo Blancaflor, director general of NCIPR member-agency Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
Blancaflor credited the achievement to the concerted efforts of all the involved agencies, which included the National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs, Optical Media Board, Philippine National Police and Food and Drug Administration.
According to Blancaflor, the NBI again accounted for the biggest haul at P5.22 billion, followed by the Optical Media Board with seizures of pirated CDs and DVDs amounting to P1.23 billion.
Based on the agency’s enforcement data, Louis Vuitton remained to have the highest estimated value of seized fake items among the other brands, which included Rayban eyeglasses, Chanel bags, Bulgari and Omega products.
In terms of the product categories, the biggest volume of seizures were handbags, wallets and backpacks, followed by fake CDs and DVDs. Wearing apparel and footwear also marked high on the list of seized counterfeit products.
“We feel triumphant of the achievement but we believe that inculcating respect for intellectual property (IP) is ultimately important. Only by having cultivated respect for IP will counterfeiting and piracy be totally eradicated, thus allowing IP rights owners to enjoy the rewards and benefits of their IP assets,” Blancaflor said.
He admitted that while there were many cases filed, not all of those accused were prosecuted as the brand owners would, at times, agree on a settlement.
For this year, Blancaflor said the IPOPHL would continue to pursue the protection and enforcement of the IP system, including IP education and awareness, capability building, expanding border control measures in more regions, policy advocacy, pushing for pending legislative bills and strengthening domestic and international partnerships.
These measures are expected to help the Philippines inch closer to its goal of being removed from the Office of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) “watch list” of nations where pirated and counterfeit goods were readily available.
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