March 06, 2009
Despite being elevated in the US priority watch list this year, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) maintained the country has made significant inroads in the fight against piracy.
“We continue to make significant inroads in our fight against piracy and other forms of violations against IP in all fronts, and all critical areas of the campaign,” IP Philippines director general Adrian S. Cristobal said.
In a report by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Philippines was elevated to the priority watch list after three years in the ordinary list because the piracy situation in the country “worsened in 2008.”
“In general, the piracy situation in the Philippines worsened in 2008. In addition to physical piracy (CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs, photocopies and book reprints), the legitimate market for foreign and local Philippine copyright material was decimated by Internet piracy (mainly peer-to-peer), mobile device piracy, camcording piracy, retail piracy, optical disc production, and pay TV theft,” the report stated.
It likewise criticized the Philippine court system, saying it needs much reform. In fact, the report said judicial corruption has become an increasingly serious concern.
However, Cristobal said there were marked improvements in 2008, thanks to the continued partnership of government and the private sector.
“Definitely enforcement is sustainable,” he said. “As expected, there are components of the strategy that are more difficult to execute, but in due time, and with our growing partnership with IP stakeholders from the private sector, we will able to overcome these obstacles.”
Cristobal also said awareness, knowledge and understanding of IP and related issues also improved, with the creation of the Intellectual Property Research and Training Institute (IPRTI) through Executive Order 737. As of end-2008, IPRTI has already trained some 200 scientists, researchers, lawyers, business executives and patent examiners, 13 of which were from ASEAN countries.
Source: The Philippine Star, page B-13, Reported by Elisa P. Osorio