Editorial: Sustaining the fight against counterfeit

POSTED: 11/25/11 12:42 PM

We welcome the seizures of counterfeit items that has taken place on Wednesday and Thursday. At the same time we urge authorities to use this opportunity to increase controls so that these items don’t even make it to the shelves in the various stores.

That a cleanup was needed is obvious, if only because we have long been confronted with rumors that what people buy in certain stores is not the real product. Beyond that fact there is the intellectual property infringements that government, by its inaction, allowed to take place and is therefore complicit in. Once the cleanup is over, there will be a need to ensure that what businesses sell consumers is indeed the right product from the right source.

One will understand that there are bigger issues to deal with but multi-national companies have been pressing more and more for countries to punish counterfeiters not just with civil penalties, but also with criminal prosecution. The film and music industry are the leaders in this regard, having gone as far as actively discouraging consumers from buying pirate DVDs and CDs through Public Service Announcements. Many of those PSAs equate illegal downloading with actual theft.

One way to get the stricter controls is to beef up the Customs Department so they can prevent counterfeit from reaching the stores. Another would be finalizing the law to establish the Bureau for Intellectual Property, which can actively monitor trademarks, and keep the enforcement agencies informed about what to look for.

 

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