24 January 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomed the report of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on 2017 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets where the Philippines remained off the list.

The report, which highlighted notorious markets for piracy and trademark counterfeiting, included several previously identified markets as owners, operators and governments failed to address earlier stated concerns. It highlighted 25 online markets and 18 physical markets around the world that are reported to be engaging in and facilitating substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. Some of the included notorious physical marketplaces are found in China, Argentina, Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Paraguay, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The Philippines went officially off the list in 2012 when the USTR found significant efforts by the government in reducing counterfeited and pirated goods available for sale.

The report indicated that piracy and counterfeiting directly harms the economy and undermines the innovation and intellectual property rights (IPR) of owners of IPR in foreign markets.

At the domestic front, the DTI continues to urge businesses and entrepreneurs to continue to protect their businesses. In its effort to protect Filipino creativity and advancing design-driven goods, the Design Center of the Philippines, under the DTI’s Trade and Investments Promotion Group, recently reported that, for 2017, a total of 114 intellectual-property  applications were filed under their design-protection initiatives.

“As we advance the creative services sector, we need to emphasize the importance of design protection and intellectual-property rights in sustaining and progressing an innovation-driven economy,” Trade Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado said.