Lawmakers want probe on PH’s ‘watch list’ status-A A +A
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
TWO lawmakers are pushing for an investigation on reports that the Philippines is still in the United States’ “watch list” for counterfeit goods.
Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez (Second District) and Abante Mindanao party-list Representative Maximo Rodriguez Jr. filed House Resolution 2570 directing the Committee on Trade and Industry to conduct an investigation regarding this matter.
Based on the 2012 annual review of the state of intellectual property rights (IPR) conducted by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Philippines remains on “watch list” of countries where pirated and counterfeit goods are readily available.
The report ranks countries in three categories -- “priority watch list,” “watch list” and “Section 306 monitoring.”
Rodriguez said the legislative measure is needed to ensure that the Philippines is removed from the “watch list,” to become compliant with the world intellectual property organization (Wipo) treaties and be part of the countries leading the fight against intellectual property violations.
However, the report cited that despite being on the “watch list,” the United States is encouraged by the significant decline in the incidence of unauthorized cam-cording of motion pictures in theaters that followed the enactment of the Anti-Camcording Act of 2010.
The report also said that Philippine officials also improved enforcement efforts, leading to the closure of at least two significant notorious markets.
But the report also cited areas where the Philippines needs to improve on, particularly in the criminal enforcement of IPR, which needs to be strengthened by improving the quality of criminal investigations and prosecutions.
The Supreme Court of the Philippines cited to have promulgated the long-awaited IPR procedural rules in 2011, which will hopefully help streamline the judicial process for IPR cases.
Among the areas of concern include amendments to the Patent Law that limit the patentability of certain chemical forms unless the applicant demonstrates increased efficacy; the lack of an effective system for protecting against the unfair commercial use, as well as unauthorized disclosure, of test or other date generated to obtain marketing approval for pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical products; and the policies that inhibit U.S. exports of IPR-intensive products to the Philippines, including measures that limit the market for imported pharmaceutical products.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 08, 2012.