THE intellectual property office said it has signed an agreement with an international trademark group to improve its counterfeit evaluation efforts.

International Trademark Association (INTA) through a memorandum of understanding signed on June 22 will help Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) examiners evaluate emerging products and designs.

The international group will help IPOPHL assess trademarks, certification marks, non-traditional marks, and popular marks to prevent confusion in evaluating similar marks.

Both groups will also work on improving counterfeit seizures and coordination between government and brand owners to intercept counterfeit sales, IPOPHL said in a statement Thursday. 

They will also roll out intellectual property awareness programs directed at the youth and small businesses looking for cost-effective brand management.

“Our young people are a key audience in building a nationwide culture of respect for intellectual property (IP). We hope we can connect with the youth effectively and in a way that would capture their interest in creativity, innovation and all things IP,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

The partnership will in force until the end of 2022.

INTA is a global association of 7,200 band owners and professionals promoting wider use of trademark protection.

Intellectual property rights violations reports sent to IPOPHL spiked during the lockdown last year, with a majority of complaints related to piracy and counterfeiting. Most of the violations, the agency said, are done online. — Jenina P. Ibañez