Copyright body reminds politicians to recognize intellectual properties

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines reminded all candidates in the upcoming elections to seek permission from the owner of the media creatives and arts when conducting their political campaigns.

IPOPhl director general Josephine Santiago warned political candidates to go through the proper channels if they planned to utilize the songs, videos and other related creatives for their campaign.

“We issued this reminder so that everyone will be aware, not only the political candidates, of the importance of respecting other people’s properties. We expect the candidates to seek permission for copyrighted items. They should respect the public’s rights in general and the IP (intellectual property) rights of the owners, in particular,” she said.

She noted that many political hopefuls package and craft their promotional campaigns using entertainment media as platform.

Poster content and tag lines are also subject to intellectual property claims if used for campaign and during political sorties.

“The owner of the trademark amd copyright should be compensated properly. This is a protection we give to original compositions and creatives like illustrations and even titles of movies and television series,” said Santiago.

Violators of IP rights are liable civilly and criminally, she said. Penalties will be assessed based on the gravity of the offense and if the perpetrator is a repeat or habitual offender.

However, cases may also be resolved through mandatory mediation.

With the mandatory mediation, the agency is aligning its procedures with the court system, which also advocates parties to undergo mediation first as a ‘soft approach’ before litigation. 

Most of the cases referred to mandatory mediation are complaints or opposition cases relating to trademark. 

A total of 2,063 IP cases, according to statistics from the Bureau of Legal Affairs, were referred to mediation from 2011 up to August 2018. Some 1,150 cases actually underwent mediation, or an acceptance rate of 55.7 percent. 

The settlement rate, or when parties reach a compromise agreement, meanwhile, is at 43 percent of the total number of mediated cases from 2011 to August 2018.

Topics: Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines , political campaigns
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