The IPOPHL present the NCIPR's 2017-2022 Action Plan on IP Rights Enforcement (PH Action Plan)
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) held the 6th Philippine Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit late last month with representatives from various member agencies of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) in attendance. The IPOPHL presented the NCIPR's 2017-2022 Action Plan on IP Rights Enforcement (PH Action Plan), which is summed up in seven points:
Include mainstream IP policy in the government;
Scale up the promotion, protection and enforcement of IPR through the NCIPR;
Ensure speedy resolution of IPR related cases;
Strengthen the legal infrastructure on IP;
Enhance the capabilities of enforcement agencies and personnel involved in IPR enforcement;
Intensify IP education initiatives; and
Establish strong presence in international fora.
The PH Action Plan includes the strengthening of NCIPR and IPOPHL's institutional arrangements with: (1) the Bureau of Immigration to help in penalizing/deporting aliens violating IPR; (2) the Bureau of Internal Revenue to run after IPR violators with tax evasion cases; and (3) Anti-Money Laundering Council to pursue possible money-laundering investigation and prosecution. This is very relevant for IP owners looking for alternatives to court action.
The IPOPHL will also push for the amendment of existing PH laws to address issues brought about by e-commerce and digital platforms. The IPOPHL also wants to push for the inclusion of secondary liability for landlords and online intermediaries in case of trademark violations. The current law only provides for secondary liability in case of copyright violations.
Another highlight of the PH Action Plan is to ensure speedy resolution of IP cases through continuing the capacity building program for judges, prosecutors and court attorneys to keep them abreast of developments in IP laws, rules and regulations. In fact, the IPOPHL's Director General Josephine R. Santiago recently stated that the IPOPHL targets to expedite its own processes in hearing IP violation cases. The IPOPHL will conduct consultations with stakeholders in 2017 in crafting revised regulations that will limit to two years the litigation of IP violation cases filed before the IPOPHL.
The PH Action Plan looks to further promote IP rights protection in the Philippines and make it easier for IP owners to enforce their rights in the digital age. These initiatives, however, may take time to be put into action so IP owners should continue to use the existing options for, and maintain a proactive stance in, protecting their IP rights.