The Philippines has steered clear of the European Commission’s intellectual property rights watch list four years since its exclusion from the list in 2020.
“Our exclusion from the list from 2019 signifies that we remain an attractive investment destination to trade partners. Truly, we have come a long way in maintaining a safe IP climate in tune with global economic standards,” said Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines director-general Rowel Barba.
The report, released on May 17, is a biennial publication identifying the priority countries that pose a great level of concern to the IP-laden industries of the European Union.
China topped the list as the sole country under “priority one” due to the persistence of IP rights violations through piracy and counterfeiting, paired with inconsistent IPR law enforcement and application.
Under “priority 2”, the EU Commission flagged India, particularly for the several constraints on patent protection, and Turkey, generally for their gaps in national IP enforcement.
“Priority 3” countries included Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Thailand which were cited for varying IP protection concerns.
Despite the Philippines being delisted from the report, Barba underscored the importance of “going beyond” the exclusion from global watch lists.
“Still, we acknowledge that there is much more work needed to be done to ensure a clean and reliable marketplace for IP rights owners across all nations. Since our last mention as a priority three in 2019, we have doubled down our efforts to safeguard our investment attractiveness, a testament to our commitment as a proactive national IP office,” Barba said, assuring the continuity of efforts to keep counterfeiting and piracy at bay.
IPOPHL said it continues to initiate anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy policy campaigns across local government units and the academe to deepen IP rights awareness, especially among public authorities critical in IP enforcement.
The agency maintained a fruitful partnership with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, resulting in significant developments through the continuous capacitation of businesses on IP services, awareness, and enforcement.
The EC said trade in goods between the Philippines and the EU amounted to 18.4 billion euros in 2022, while 2022 bilateral trade in services amounted to 4.7 billion euros.