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Seized fake goods in 2017 highest in 4 years — IPOPHL

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By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

As much as P8.2 billion worth of counterfeit and pirated goods were seized in 2017, the biggest haul by the government since 2014, according to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

In a press statement, IPOPHL reported the seizure was 26 percent higher than 2016 value of counterfeit goods confiscated by various agencies under the  National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR).

“The value of fake goods confiscated by the government fluctuates every year and it depends on the class of goods and the market value of the original goods in the formal economy,” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine R. Santiago.

Among the NCIPR members, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported the biggest haul with more than P5.8 billion in fake goods seized in 2017.

The IPOPHL report also noted of a different trend in the kind of products seized in 2017. From mostly jewelry and branded watches in 2016, the top 2017 seized items were electronics, optical media, and pharmaceutical and personal care products.

“As this reflects the growing market demand for electronic goods and products involving public health and safety, we warn the public to be wary of counterfeiters exploiting this high demand. This alarming development underscores the need for the various relevant agencies of government and the intellectual property rights owners to address this serious concern. The IPOPHL, for its part, continues to intensify its campaign against the selling and buying of these counterfeit products,” added Santiago.

In 2015, watches and jewelry were still at the top spot, followed by optical media, then hand bags and wallets rounding out the top three categories. Apparel and accessories were the top counterfeited items in 2014, followed by hand bags and wallets in the second spot, then footwear.

Based on the data submitted by NCIPR members Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), a total of 309 search warrants were implemented and the BOC issued 16 warrants of seizure and detention for the whole year. The Optical Media Board (OMB) conducted 2,770 inspections in 2017.

IPOPHL, the vice-chair of NCIPR, is the government agency tasked with the administration of the intellectual property system in the country. It is charged with the protection of patents, trademarks, utility models and industrial designs, and the adjudication of cases involving opposition and intellectual property rights violations in the Philippines

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