Lazada, Shopee, other businesses sign MOU against fake goods

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the biggest e-commerce platforms in the country, including , , and other intellectual property rights holders for quick removal of fake products on online shopping sites.

The IPOPHL signed the agreement with Lazada and Shopee to build a stronger industry-wide coordination mechanism against increasing online counterfeiting and piracy.

Present in the virtual signing ceremony of MOU between brand owners and online platforms are Asst. Sec. Jean Pacheco, Dir. Gen. Rowel Barba, Dep. Dir. Gen. Teodoro Pascua, Dir. Ann Edillon, Atty. Edmund Jason Branda, ROUSE, the British Embassy Manila, UK IPO, brand owners, and representatives from online platforms.

Brand owners such as Unilever Philippines, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Philippines, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc., Castrol Ltd., and Solar Pictures, Inc., as well as business groups Philippine Retailers Association and American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines also signed the said MOU.
“Before, we used to experience delays especially on complaints on counterfeits and piracy. But with this MOU, we hope that there will be easier coordination and faster action on the part of platform owners to act on complaints of counterfeiting, not only coming from brand owners but especially from the IPOPHL and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry),” said IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba in an online press conference following the MOU signing ceremony.

According to Barba, the agreement provides a self-policing measure that will help in cleaning up the marketplace from bogus products online.

Under the MOU, industry players agreed to use the notice and takedown (NTD) system, in which rights owners can use the NTD procedures to remove contents on the e-commerce sites that have copyright infringement and other intellectual property violations. It also drafted a feedback mechanism between e-commerce platforms and rights owners.

Furthermore, Barba mentioned that with the massive shift to e-commerce last year due to the pandemic, IPOPHL received the highest number of reports and complaints on intellectual property rights violations online. In fact, the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Office received some 121 reports and complaints last year, apart from over 20,000 complaints at DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau.

Barba stated this initiative also aims to keep the country out of the piracy watchlist. This would also give certainty to investors to bring in their brands and technology to the Philippines without the fear of their intellectual property rights being violated.

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