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P8.2B worth of counterfeit goods seized in 2017

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Counterfeit and pirated goods worth P8.2 billion were confiscated in 2017 through the combined operations of agencies under the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR).

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) revealed on March 5 that the cost of seized counterfeit goods last year was 25 percent higher than the P6.5 billion in 2016.

IPOPHL said this served to be “biggest haul by the government since 2014.”

The agency noted the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized the largest as it was able to confiscate P5.8 billion of fake goods in the period.

“The value of fake goods confiscated by the government fluctuates every year and it depends on the class of goods and the market value of the original goods in the formal economy,” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago.

Electronics, optical media, and pharmaceutical and personal care products topped the confiscated items last year, the organization said.

“As this reflects the growing market demand for electronic goods and products involving public health and safety, we warn the public to be wary of counterfeiters exploiting this high demand. This alarming development underscores the need for the various relevant agencies of government and the intellectual property rights owners to address this serious concern. The IPOPHL, for its part, continues to intensify its campaign against the selling and buying of these counterfeit products,” Santiago added.

According to the information given by NCIPR members Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), 309 search warrants were implemented and the BOC issued 16 warrants of seizure and detention for the whole year. The Optical Media Board (OMB) conducted 2,770 inspections in 2017.

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