ICC BASCAP called on IP leaders from across Southeast Asia to strengthen IP enforcement in order to stop the proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods that threatens economic growth and the health and safety of consumers.
The remarks were delivered at the 5th Philippine Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit in Manila, organized by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). The summit, under the theme “Building Cooperation Across Borders”, addressed regional and international challenges and cooperation relating to IP protection, enforcement and adjudication.
“As the world becomes borderless, new business models to conduct trade have at the same time undermined the legitimate distribution of original, innovative and creative products all over the world,” said Josephine Santiago, Director General of the IPOPHL. “We have never seen more cross border and complex IP cases than we do today. More and more, IP litigation cases are no longer limited to simple infringement or invalidation. Cases are often no longer confined in the physical space of country borders but extend to the virtual space of the Internet as well.”
BASCAP Policy Advisor Louis Bonnier welcomed the Philippine initiative: “I commend IPOPHL for taking a leadership position in the region and for bringing together government officials, IP experts and industry from ASEAN to put forward practical steps to resolve the problem of counterfeiting and piracy in the Philippines and neighbouring countries.”
The summit tackled key issues, such as enforcement on the Internet, challenges of multiple jurisdictions, and border enforcement. It is estimated that nearly 80% of all the counterfeit and pirated goods in the Philippines enter through customs. “Strengthening our customs cooperation, especially with our neighbouring countries will enhance our position as a business hub, especially now that global businesses are shifting their focus and investments to the smaller and rapidly growing but competent economies,” Ms Santiago said.
The globalization of trade has created numerous points of vulnerability that criminal networks utilize to sell and distribute fakes and pirated content.
Keeping fakes out of the supply chain
As part of a series of BASCAP events focused on intermediaries, Mr Bonnier presented key findings from the recent BASCAP report, Roles and responsibilities of intermediaries: Fighting counterfeiting and piracy in the supply chain: “The globalization of trade has created numerous points of vulnerability that criminal networks utilize to sell and distribute fakes and pirated content,” said Mr Bonnier. “BASCAP’s work on intermediaries aims to raise awareness of how criminals can infiltrate the legitimate supply chain and outlines a range of measures that responsible businesses can take to help keep fake and pirated products out of the supply chain and off the Internet.”
The BASCAP presentation on intermediaries was followed by a panel discussion, with representatives from government and industry sharing views and experiences from the Philippines.
Bolstering enforcement with the ‘BASCAP 25’
To encourage government leaders to make IP enforcement a priority and help build more effective national and regional IPR enforcement regimes, ICC-BASCAP has developed a set of 25 Best Practices for IPR Enforcement: “The aim of the ‘BASCAP 25’ is to raise the bar for IP enforcement across all countries and regions. We believe that these best practices are the essential pieces every government should have in place for an effective IPR enforcement regime,” said Jean-Pierre Maeder, BASCAP representative and Nestle’s special delegate for IP Advocacy. “I’m pleased to note that most of the best practices have already been implemented here in the Philippines.”
The BASCAP 25 is designed as a basic “check list” that governments can use to evaluate if necessary regulations are in place to effectively tackle counterfeit and piracy. Mr Maeder encouraged IPOPHL, as the lead on IP enforcement in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to share the BASCAP 25 with the other ASEAN Member States to asses the status of each country’s legal framework for IP enforcement – both strengths and areas for improvement.
Fakes Cost More, I Buy Real
The importance of public awareness of the risks associated with purchasing fake goods was also emphasized throughout the day. During a special award ceremony at the Summit, ICC Chief Operating Officer Philip Kucharski presented certificates to eight schools from Cebu City and Manila for developing their own set of unique posters for BASCAP’s global “Fakes Cost More, I Buy Real” public awareness campaign: “On behalf of ICC and the thousands of member companies and business associations it represents worldwide, I congratulate all the schools that participated in the campaign and thank you for the invaluable contribution you have made to promoting and protecting intellectual property,” he said.
The BASCAP awareness campaign is global in scope and is currently being used in 22 countries. “This is the first use of the ‘I Buy Real’ campaign in ASEAN and we hope that the Philippine experience will encourage more ASEAN members, as well as other countries, to do the same” added Mr Kucharski.
Enhanced cooperation to protect IP and citizens
ICC-BASCAP and IPOPHL share a common commitment to step up efforts to protect IP and to guard Philippine consumers from the harms caused by product counterfeiting and copyright piracy. In recognition of this common goal, BASCAP and IPOPHL signed a MOU in August that sets the foundation for increased cooperation on IP protection and enforcement initiatives.
The Philippine Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit is the largest IP event held in the Philippines and opened the Philippine IP Week Celebration which took place from 26-30 October. The summit included speakers from Japan, Korea, the EU and the US. Several BASCAP member companies were also present, including Nestle, Baker & McKenzie and Philip Morris International.