Education vital to IPR protection, says IPOP chief
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (21 September) -- Public awareness and education are vital in strengthening the implementation of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the country.
This was disclosed by Atty. Adrian S. Cristobal, Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOP), yesterday in a press conference with the Iloilo media.
He said that since 1998 IPOP has rendered the country better service, but there is still a need to raise public awareness about IPR in the country.
Counterfeiting of trademarks, he said, has corresponding criminal penalties.
"We coordinate enforcement through the National Committee on Intellectual Rights, composed of the NBI, PNP, Bureau of Customs, DOJ and Optical Media Board", Cristobal said.
The IPOP head cited that from January to June 2007, the committee through the law enforcement agencies were able to seize about P1.4 billion worth of all kinds of fake goods, superseding their 2006 accomplishments.
Enforcement is sustained, he said emphasizing that there are now 65 convictions since 2001, and over 530 pending cases in different courts around the country for violations of IPR.
It will be recalled that the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines is the lead agency in the country mandated to implement state policies on intellectual property. It was created by Republic Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines which was signed into law on June 6, 1997.
The main responsibilities of IPOP include the grant of patents, registration of trademarks and other marks of ownership, utility models, industrial designs, and technology transfer arrangements.
The modifications embodied in the IP Code guaranteed that the rights of investors, trademark owners, authors, and other generators of intellectual property would be given utmost protection.
Cristobal, who also conducted an orientation seminar on IPR in Iloilo City with the investors, Small and Medium Enterprises, members of the Regional Development Council and the Economic Development Committee, noted during the presscon that Region VI has produced eleven patents on technology and 11 utility model registration, and about 276 trademarks registered with the IPOP. (PIA) [top]