MANILA – The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has signed its first partnership agreement with the British embassy in Manila to strengthen enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights in e-commerce and enhance the competitiveness and financial leverage of businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), with IP.
IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) through an online ceremony held on August 6.
“This MOU will complement our ongoing efforts in activating more policies within government and campaigns within the whole of society toward making e-commerce safer and more sustainable to business. This MoU can also bring positive outcomes in enabling businesses to extract the most from their IP assets, from using them to access financing and to build their competitiveness in various markets,” Barba said in a statement Tuesday.
The MOU specifically aims to design a comprehensive regulatory framework for a more sustainable e-commerce regime in the Philippines; strengthen IP enforcement at the border; and share best practices that will enable businesses, especially MSMEs, in both the consumer and creative industries, to capitalize their IP assets to gain access to financing and advance in the competition within their industries.
The MOU helps promote certain goals of the 2020-2025 IP Rights Action Plan of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), such as developing a data collection methodology of IP enforcement cases.
This will be developed and pilot-tested in the Philippines for the eventual benefit of all Asean members in strengthening their respective enforcement regimes.
Another Asean goal it supports is the creation of a comprehensive manual on legal actions which businesses can take to enforce their IP rights in both physical and digital marketplaces.
The manual is seen to enhance local and foreign businesses’ access to justice as they are provided more understanding on the remedies available to them whenever their rights are infringed.
“This MOU signing marks the continued implementation of policy support and technical assistance of the United Kingdom (UK) to the Philippines through the UK Prosperity Fund Asean Economic Reform Programme,” Pruce said.
The UK Prosperity Fund is a 1.2-billion euro fund spread over seven years, to improve business environments of different countries, creating a secondary benefit where UK businesses can have opportunities resulting from their economic growth.
“With the signing of the MOU, we look forward to more cooperation in our exciting next stage of our partnership. Moreover, we look forward to closer collaboration between our nations and work together to shape the UK’s dynamic partnership with Asean and the Southeast Asia region,” Pruce added.