Stronger powers for IPOPHL sought

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    Despite stronger enforcement powers, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is seeking more teeth in its authority to go after infringers.

    IPOPHL said Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-049 or the “Revised Rules of Procedure on Administrative Enforcement Intellectual (IP) Rights,” which took effect on March 3, 2021 expressly included the electronic, digital or online channels as part of the IEO’s scope in exercising its enforcement functions.

    The IEO can now also conduct motu proprio monitoring in both online and physical marketplaces.

    The IEO can also serve an enforcement order where it can request removal of counterfeit goods or pirated goods or content, including advertisements in relation to such goods or content, or the blocking of access thereto, in coordination with the appropriate agency, body, or intermediary service provide; give cease-and-desist order or; order the removal of counterfeit and pirated goods or content from physical establishments.

    But Teodoro Pascua, deputy-director general of IPOPHL said legislative amendments remain “immensely needed” for the agency have greater say in shutting IP infringing sites.

    Pascua said with the amendments in IPO Code, once a take-down order is served, the National Telecommunications Commission will automatically and immediately enforce it, without further evaluation as their systems can trust the expertise and competence of IPOPHL.

    “Our MC updates and upgrades our previous MC on the enforcement office of IPOPHL.

    Though it shadows at some points our proposed amendments the amendments are bigger in scope and a legislative act,” said Pascua