- Category: Economy
- Published on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 19:45
- Written by Max V. de Leon / Reporter
THE government has released a manual that will guide prosecutors, enforcers and investigators in the handling of intellectual property (IP) cases.
The Manual for Investigation and Prosecution of IP Rights standardizes procedural guidelines in the investigation and prosecution of IP cases, as well as increasing awareness and understanding of IP laws and procedures among prosecutors, law enforcers and the general public.
“The Manual for Investigation and Prosecution of Intellectual Property is not only a guide for prosecutors and law enforcers, it is also for public information. Some of the main focuses of the manual are unfair competition and copyright—both are significant information when one considers exploiting pirated software. In law implementation, the manual is simple and practical: It details what is required when addressing IP cases,” Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Ricardo Blancaflor said. The manual was made public at the recently held second Philippine Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit at the Edsa Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City.
The summit, organized in partnership with member-agencies of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), had the theme “Respect for Intellectual Property Rights: A Key Component to Fostering Innovation and Economic Development in the Country.”
It is part of the “Be Aware of Your Software” (BAYS) campaign, an initiative of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) spearheaded by the IPOPHL, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The manual is divided into four chapters: The International Commitment of the Philippines on Intellectual Property Rights and Significant Philippine Laws on IP Rights; The Establishment of Criminal Liability, which provided elements and evidence for specific offenses; Law Enforcement in IP Cases, which provided detailed information on complaint-filing procedures; and The Role of Prosecutors on the Investigation of the Violation of IP Rights.
Blancaflor said the manual will help the country meet its challenges, such as maintaining the present high standard in IP rights enforcement, raising awareness in intellectual property, improving judicial systems, and to have the Philippines delisted from the US Trade Representative 301 watch list.
“Let us continue the good work. We must raise IP awareness—we cannot expect people to respect IP if they do not know what it’s all about. We must also make sure that by the end of 2012, cases filed in 2009 and earlier must already be concluded; our action plan is to target two years at the most for each case so that new cases may continue to be filed,” Blancaflor urged.
Blancaflor also expressed optimism in the manual’s influence on the recently launched BAYS initiative, an educational campaign on the importance of using genuine and licensed software among businesses.
Lawyer Raul Cortez, legal and corporate affairs director of Microsoft Philippines, shared some insights on how cybercrime as a whole contributes to the problem of software piracy at the summit.
“According to a recent study, 94 out of 100 computers using pirated software were found to have malware. This means that anyone who has access to those malware is able to track any information that you have in your computer, whether personal or financial. Imagine putting that in the enterprise. World-trade secrets and financial information will be exposed. More important, if government systems are concerned, then there might even be a threat to national security,” he said.
“This is why we need to be more vigilant. It’s now or never. We need to figure out what these people are doing and how they do it. We at Microsoft fully support IPOPHL to continuously inform the Philippine prosecutors and law enforcers on copyright, software piracy and even the violation of IP rights, as well as educate the consumers on the importance of using genuine software and the benefits they could receive from such licensed programs,” Cortez added.