44 store owners charged; P362 M in counterfeit goods seized since January

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Nonnatus Caesar Rojas

MANILA, Philippines—At least 44 store owners have been charged with violations of intellectual property rights and hundreds of millions of pesos worth of counterfeit products, mostly cellphones and shoes, have been seized since the start of the year, according to the National Bureau of Investigation.

NBI director Nonnatus Rojas said the raids on known counterfeit lairs conducted by the agency’s Intellectual Property Rights Division were  in line with the government’s campaign to stop the proliferation in the country of various types of bootlegged  merchandise through the enforcement of intellectual property laws.

Recently the NBI was singled out by the director of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, Ricardo R. Blancaflor, for confiscating the biggest number of counterfeit goods being passed off under well-known and highly respected brands.

Rojas said that in January alone the  NBI seized more than P362 million worth of fake merchandise, mostly of them cellphones.

He said among the areas raided by the IPRD agents were a factory on Taliba Street in San Rafael Village in Tondo which resulted in the  confiscation of more than two million pieces of Snow Bear candy worth P2.4 million.

He said that a warehouse on Del Monte Avenue in Quezon City  yielded hundreds of thousands of counterfeit Nokia cell phones valued at P352 million.

Raids on various known stores in Metro Manila netted more than P7 million in counterfeit foot wear.

Rojas  said the raids were covered by court orders  based on complaints of owners of  registered trademark owners or their representatives  in the country.

He added that almost all the complainants involved well-known brands manufactured abroad.

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