The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance curtailing the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacturing or production of pirated, counterfeit, or fake goods, articles, or services and for other purposes.
Local legislators stated that it shall be the policy of the local government that all business licenses and permits issued by the city shall carry the expressed condition that the licensee shall not engage in the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture or production of pirated, counterfeit, or fake goods, articles among others in their establishments and premises.
For the said purpose, the council stipulated that any stall, table, or equivalent contraptions counterfeit or fake goods, articles or services within 2 meters from the door, window or any opening leading to the licensee’s establishment shall be deemed included in the term premises.
The body added that the pirated, counterfeit or fake goods and articles of any person engaged in any business or trade, without or without any license or permit shall be taken into preventive custody and disposed of pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Under the proposed ordinance, a penalty of a fine of P2,500 shall be imposed upon any person, who, having been issued a business license or permit who branches or violates the condition as set forth in the preceding provisions shall be ground for the revocation of the permit or license for a period of not more than 10 days for the first offense, 30 days for the second offense and cause the cancellation of the same for the third and subsequent offenses.
In the similar instance, the respondent may, within 24 hours from notice of an order to suspend or cancel the business license or permit or to take custody of pirated, counterfeit or fake goods, articles or services.
Moreover, any person who, without any business license or permit, shall engage in the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture or production of fake goods, articles and services and any person who shall violate the order of the City Mayor suspending or cancelling a license or permit or taking the subject goods into custody.
The council claimed that the prosecution for the commission of any of the penalized offenses shall not constitute a bar for the subsequent prosecution of offenses under the Intellectual Property Code and other related laws and should the offense be committed by a juridical person, the stockholder, chairperson, president, officer, director, trustee, partner, or manager who committed or caused the commission of such offense shall be liable for the aforesaid penalized offense.
According to the council, the local government adheres to the policy of the national government to curb the proliferation and introduction into commerce of pirated, counterfeit, or fake goods, articles or services and the commission of other acts that violate intellectual property rights as promoted by existing laws, rules and regulations.
The council pointed out that privacy and counterfeiting of intellectual property rights not only cause economic prejudice and demoralization among legitimate businessmen and establishments that offer products and services dependent on intellectual property protection but also undermine the local government’s strategy for growth and development that resulted to unrealized revenues and taxes.
By Dexter A. See