Gov't Plans Counter-Move on Group's Move to Elevate RP in USTR Watchlist

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The government plans to mount a campaign to counter a new move in the US to elevate the Philippines in the priority watchlist of intellectual property violators of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The move falls on the shoulder of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and IP related agencies to give more teeth on their campaign against the proliferation of pirated and counterfeit products.

This developed as the International Intellectual Property Association (IIPA), a major US-based lobby group, has petitioned the USTR to elevate the Philippines in the priority watchlist of intellectual property violators for its failure to address computer software piracy but continuing, and mounting, problems faced by other copyright industries.

This was contained in the IIPA submission to the USTR, which is currently undertaking a Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Reviews of the Philippines and Thailand.

"IIPA has called upon the Philippine government to address the problems identified in IIPA's previous reports and this submission in advance of the upcoming 2011," IIPA said in its position paper signed by Michael Schlesinger.

It could be recalled that IIPA had proposed that the Philippines be elevated to the Priority Watch List in the February 2010 Special 301 cycle on the same issues, but USTR had decided to retain the country in the ordinary Watchlist.

The IIPA has noted the promise of an incoming leadership of the IPO Philippines, the Optical Media Board, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), among other key agencies. IIPA members continue to work with cooperative agency efforts like the Philippine Anti-Piracy Taskforce to achieve some good results against, like end-user piracy of business software. …