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IPOPHL says sellers of counterfeit goods undermine investment-attraction efforts

THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said sellers of counterfeit goods are undermining efforts to attract investment to the Philippines.

In a statement, issued on Thursday after a shopping center in San Juan City was listed as a “notorious” market for counterfeits by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), IPOPHL said counterfeiting is a “crime that harms the reputation of legitimate businesses, dampens investor trust and evades taxes.”

“IPOPHL urges all sellers to uphold legitimate trade and support the sale of locally made products to create a safe intellectual property (IP)-driven economy where businesses can flourish,” it added.

Greenhills Shopping Center was on USTR list of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy in 2023.

The list also includes China’s Silk Market, India’s Heera Panna indoor market, and Thailand’s MBK Center.

Meanwhile, IPOPHL said it is working with the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) to eliminate stores selling counterfeit and other IP-infringing goods in Greenhills through the Overhaul Greenhills project.

“We will continue to work with rights holders, the San Juan local government and the Greenhills management on seizures, issuance of warning letters and updates on the development of the shopping center into a high-end mall,” the IPOPHL said.

“As the lone Philippine market in the watch list, Greenhills remains a priority in IPOPHL and NCIPR’s mission to clear the markets of counterfeit and other intellectual property (IP) infringing goods,” it added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile