The Philippines has sustained its good status in United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Special 301 Watchlist.
USTR’s 2015 Special 301 Report, an annual review of the global state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement, highlighted efforts of the Philippine government to remain delisted in the watchlist.
“The Philippines carried out administrative enforcement reforms that have resulted in streamlined procedures, enhanced inter-agency cooperation, and more enforcement action, including increased seizures of pirated and counterfeit goods,” the Report noted.
The Philippine government, through the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), has seized P13.32-billion worth of counterfeited products in 2014.
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), the lead agency of NCIPR, reported that the seizure amount in 2014 was 70 percent higher than 2013’s value of P7.86 billion fake goods being sold in the domestic market.
The latest Special 301 Report added that the Philippines committed to a whole-of-government approach in IPR enforcement which is critical in maintaining a good IPR status.
“For the second year now, the Philippines remains out of the USTR Special 301 Watch List. This is a recognition of our hard work and sustained drive to improve the protection and enforcement of IPR in the country, and at the same time an indication of our productive partnership,” IPOPHL Deputy Director General Allan B. Gepty said.
It was only last year, after 25 years, the USTR removed the Philippines from its IPR wathchlist.