Europe-PH News

IPOPHL’s pact with e-commerce firms billed ‘best practice’

October 21, 2022

ECCP Online

Europe-PH News

THE e-commerce Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has been cited as a “best practice” in cultivating trust online to deter illicit alcohol trade in the Asean region.

The report titled, “Tackling Illicit Alcohol in Southeast Asia” which was published in September 2022 by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT), cited the e-commerce MOU as an example that Asean members could copy to combat counterfeit alcohol online.

According to the TRACIT report which was coauthored by the Asia Pacific International Spirits & Wines Alliance, the Alliance Against Counterfeit Spirits and the EU-Asean Business Council (EU-ABC), putting in place enforcement measures online will be vital as e-commerce is seen to fuel illicit alcohol to $4 trillion in 2022.

Among the report’s recommendations to build consumer trust and awareness online, it cited the IPOPHL’s MOU with e-Commerce platforms, noting that “this initiative brings together eCommerce platforms and IP owners, establishing a code of practice among online marketplaces and an efficient notice and takedown procedure which aims to intensify the fight against the sale of counterfeit/pirated goods over the internet.”

Further, the report noted, the MOU commits platforms to respond in a timely manner, and IP owners commit to taking swift Notice & Takedowns steps in attempt to stop counterfeits at source.

The TRACIT report stressed that this is the second MOU in the region after Thailand signed a similar one in January 2021.

The MOU is an agreement among 18 e-commerce platforms, brand owners, and industry groups to curb counterfeiting and piracy online.

In May, the MOU had led to heightened removals of IP-infringing posts. Representatives from Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, Golden ABC, Globe Telecom, GlaxoSmithKline and Solar Pictures presented their achievements under the MOU.

For instance, Lazada, an  international e-commerce platform, established a trust-building awareness campaign through their “Sure Ka Sa Lazada” that guarantees that products are legitimate.

Meanwhile, IPOPHL said Shopee updated their IP process with tighter sanctions and new algorithms that target copied listings.

Aside from these platforms, IPOPHL said other signatories include the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and Philippine Retailers Association.

The TRACIT report also warned that the Asean “is estimated to be the region with the highest consumption of unrecorded alcohol by 2025.”

In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2016, 63 percent of annual per capita alcohol consumption in Vietnam was unrecorded, 62 percent for Indonesia, 44 percent for Malaysia, 31 percent for Philippines and 20 percent for Thailand.

With this, as chair of the Asean Network of IP Enforcement Experts (ANIEE), IPOPHL Deputy Director General Teodoro C. Pascua said the Philippines will work closely with Asean’s Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group (CECWG).

“ANIEE will draft a work plan this year with the CECWG on information sharing and capacity-building to help customs authorities distinguish counterfeit from original products. We aim to help customs authorities across Asean adopt best practices in monitoring and intercepting counterfeit goods across the supply chain,” Pascua said, noting that ANIEE will be engaging Asean’s foreign partners from the private sector for the activities.

For his part, Asean Working Group on IP Cooperation (AWGIPC) Chair and IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said, “The private sector is critical as they know how best to distinguish their products from fakes. As imitation techniques of counterfeiters have been increasingly more sophisticated, working hand in hand with the private sector through information sharing would make possible the early detection of counterfeits.”


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