MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has removed the Quiapo shopping district from its Notorious Markets List, amid the Philippines' efforts to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR).
The USTR said in its Notorious Markets Review that the Quiapo shopping district was among the markets that took action to address widespread IPR piracy and sale of counterfeit goods.
“Positive action has...occurred over the past year at physical markets. One example is the Quiapo shopping district in the Philippines,” the report said.
“The Philippine government has taken significant enforcement actions that have reduced the number of counterfeit and pirated goods available for sale and, as a result, the market has been removed from the 2012 list,” the report added.
The Notorious Markets List identifies selected markets, including those on the Internet, which are engaged in substantial piracy and counterfeiting.
The markets are selected based on the scale of global trademark counterfeiting activities and the impact of harm they cause to IPR holders.
Sought for comment, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) deputy director general Allan Gepty said in a text message yesterday the removal of the Quiapo shopping district from the list is a recognition of the government’s continuing efforts to combat counterfeiting and piracy.
“Indeed, IPR enforcement in the country has earned a positive recognition due to the holistic approach initiated by IPOPHL,” he said.
“We want to involve everyone in this campaign and I hope that with all these efforts, the Philippines will eventually be removed from the USTR watch list,” he added.
Being on the USTR watch list means there is a need to address underlying IPR problems.
Apart from the Quiapo shopping district, seven other markets from China, Mexico and Canada were removed from the 2012 Notorious Markets List.