IPOPHL expects piracy complaints to surge

IPOPHL expects piracy complaints to surge

THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said that the number of piracy complaints and reports could further grow next year after the launch of the agency’s site blocking initiative.

“Since we have (will start) site blocking… in January, we are now preparing our team,” Director General Rowel S. Barba told reporters last week.

“This is to make sure that the people who investigate the reports and complaints are ready to inspect because we are really expecting a surge in complaints,” he added.

Mr. Barba said IPOPHL is expecting a higher number of piracy and counterfeiting reports and complaints this year from only at 200-level last year.

“I think we can attribute (the increase) to people being more aware now that they can report counterfeiting and piracy,” he said.

Last month, IPOPHL introduced the Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement Tracking System which aims to aid the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) in cracking down on counterfeiting and piracy.

The system will also help NCIPR in identifying modus operandi patterns, potential leads and emerging hot spots for IP infringement activities and profile IP rights violators.

It was developed by Multisys Technologies Corp. which committed to deliver the project by this month, in time to be operational in January.

In September, IPOPHL launched new rules on site blocking through Memorandum Circular 23-025 which aims to improve the Philippine position from third in piracy rates in East and Southeast Asia.

To support its site blocking initiatives, IPOPHL is hoping to hire more people to handle the increasing work.

“We will be adding more people. We have an existing core team, so I think we will hire five additional members,” Mr. Barba said.

“Right now, the core team is composed of ten people. For site blocking, we are allocating at least five members as a core team so we really have to hire more people, because the existing people will not be enough,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile