Philippines removed from the US Special 301 Watch list amid favorable IP environment The Philippines has been removed from the US watch list Special 301 Report. The report released by US Trade Representative (USTR) flags countries that form serious trade barriers concerning the IP laws of the country. Rowel S. Barba Director General of Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines...
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Philippines removed from the US Special 301 Watch list amid favorable IP environment
The Philippines has been removed from the US watch list Special 301 Report. The report released by US Trade Representative (USTR) flags countries that form serious trade barriers concerning the IP laws of the country.
Rowel S. Barba Director General of Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said, "We welcome the Philippines' continuing absence from the US Trade Representative's (USTR) Special 301 Report, an accomplishment that has helped promote the Philippines as a thriving investment destination for the US and other foreign businesses since 2014."
Presenting their case, DG IPOPHL states that, "We are particularly pleased with the dismissal of the incorrect finding that our government uses unlicensed apps, an assertion that we have consistently refuted." IPOPHL also presented the government agencies' expenditure on approved software, as per the data provided by the Department of Budget and Management. With the data on expenditure, Executive Order No. 262, series of 2000, entitled "Providing Policies, Guidelines, Rules, and Regulations for the Procurement of Goods/Supplies by the National Government," and Memorandum Circular No. 115, released on April 5, 1995, were also quoted.
Giving reason to USTR, IPOPHL cited Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act 2002, for ensuring that only authentic and registered bidders engage in the bidding process. To this Barba commented that the reduced areas of concern are a result of IPOPHL's whole-of-society role in heading the 12-member National Committee on IP Rights (NCIPR) implementation activities and coordinating with relevant private stakeholders.
On resolving of remaining allegations with USTR, IPOPHL's Deputy Director-General Teodoro. C. Pascua stated that the whole-of-society work will continue, while IPOPHL also works with the US Trade. Representative to resolve remaining allegations, such as the sluggish opposition and cancellation cases, geographical indication (GI) requirements, and the country's role as a source of counterfeit drugs.
Pascua remarked, "IPOPHL continues to have fact-based responses demonstrating that our regulatory resistance and cancellation proceedings have improved. In terms of the GI results, we will take care of the USTR's remarks and forward them to Congress when it drafts GI legislation." Clarifying about the bill for amending the IP code, Pascua expressed his optimism over the bill to be signed into law, which doubles the fine and punishment for counterfeit drugs.