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EC piracy watchlist signals crackdown in Greenhills

THE INTELLECTUAL Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said the Philippines’ inclusion in a European Commission (EC) counterfeiting watchlist could lead to a crackdown on shopping centers in Baclaran, Divisoria, and Greenhills.  

Rowel S. Barba, IPOPHL director general, said that it will engage with local government units (LGUs) and shopping mall administrators in Baclaran, Divisoria, the Greenhills Shopping Center, and the Cartimar Shopping Center after these markets were identified by the EC as selers of counterfeit items.  

“Clamping down on IP violating activities will be proof of good governance and a strong will to implement the laws of the land,” Mr. Barba said in a statement.

In December, the EC watch list cited specific markets in the Philippines where counterfeit goods are sold.  

“Baclaran and Divisoria markets in Manila are reported for offering a wide range of counterfeit goods on retail and wholesale basis, in particular shoes, with some stalls allegedly also running online shops offering counterfeit goods,” the EC said.  

“Shops in the Greenhills and Cartimar shopping malls and in particular the stalls located in their vicinity are reported to sell higher-quality counterfeit goods,” it added.

According to the IPOPHL, this marks the first instance that specific Philippine markets have been flagged in the EC watchlist since its launch in 2018.

Greenhills has also been cited in the Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy List issued by the US Trade Representative in February 2022.

Mr. Barba urged the LGUs to enforce the IP Code.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2020-124 directs LGUs to issue ordinances authorizing the cancellation of business permits and other LGU-issued licenses for shops that volate IP rights. Memorandum Circular No. 2022-055 instructs local officials to draft counterfeiting and piracy policies that promote respect for IP rights in the workplace. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave