House OKs bill strengthening PH Intellectual Property Office

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2023 09:51 PM

MANILA - Voting 267-0-1, the House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final House Bill 7600 to strengthen the powers and functions of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), and amend the Intellectual Property Code (IP Code) to adapt to recent advancements in technology and further address piracy and counterfeiting.

The bill will give IPOPHL additional powers to prevent counterfeit or pirated goods or contents.

“With the proposed additional functions of the Intellectual Property Office and the new amendments to Republic Act No. 8293, we hope to respond to recent advances in technology since its last revision. We also hope that with this important legislation, we will be able to adopt some of the current best practices in the international community,” Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said in a statement.

“Our laws must also respond to prevalent and more advanced forms of piracy and counterfeiting nowadays and with this proposed law, we hope to support governmental efforts that would protect intellectual property,” Speaker Romualdez added.

The bill defines counterfeit and pirated goods while authorizing the IPOPHL to gather intelligence information, and investigate violations of the IP Code and develop countermeasures to deter counterfeit or pirated goods or content.

The measure will also allow IPOPHL to visit establishments and businesses suspected to be violating RA 8293.

HB 7600 also empowers the IPOPHL, after due notice and hearing to take down a website whose primary purpose or primary effect is to infringe the copyright or facilitate copyright infringement.

Copyright owners or the exclusive licensee of copyright would be able to submit an application to the IPOPHL to order the disabling of access to any infringing online location identified in the application.

The bill also increases the range of administrative fines that can be imposed by the Director of Legal Affairs to a minimum of P 100,000 and a maximum of P1 million while the maximum additional fine for each day of a continuing violation is also raised from P1,000 to P10,000.