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IPOPHL, MDPPA renew pact to combat proliferation of fake motorcycle parts

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The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has announced it has inked an agreement with the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association (MDPPA) to curb the sale of counterfeit motorcycles and parts and raise awareness on their threats to the lives of all road users.

According to IPOPHL, the memorandum of agreement (MOA) marks a renewal of IPOPHL and the MDPPA’s partnership, which was first inked in 2011. The agency said the previous agreement resulted in “successful” nationwide awareness initiatives for consumers and capacity-building activities that helped enforcement authorities identify fake motor vehicles and parts more easily.

Meanwhile, IPOPHL said under the new memorandum of agreement, the two parties have intensified their collaboration to exchange information aimed at tracking counterfeit motor vehicles and parts that pass through the country’s borders.

“Under the renewed partnership, IPOPHL and the MDPPA enhanced their collaboration with the commitment to exchange statistics and other vital information to improve enforcement operations and enable the tracking of counterfeit motor vehicles and parts that enter and exit the country’s borders,” IPOPHL said in a news statement issued on Tuesday.

IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba underscored the importance of the said agreement, noting that counterfeit motor vehicles and parts do not pass any form of quality and safety checks.

“IPOPHL commends the MDPPA’s unwavering commitment to intellectual property [IP] rights protection and enforcement. Counterfeit motor vehicles and parts do not pass any form of quality and safety checks. As such, their use endangers the lives of all road users, many of whom simply wish to arrive home safely to their families after a long day at work,” Barba added.

The IPOPHL chief reiterated the organization’s lobby to amend the IP Code. Amendments to the 1997 law, which include doubling penalties to perpetrators of counterfeiting and piracy activities that pose danger to life and health, “could intensify enforcement and help drive away IP violators,” said Barba.

According to IPOPHL, bills pending in Congress that intend to amend IP Code include House Bills 1597, 8062 and 8620.

“Counterfeit products also tarnish the reputation of motorcycle industry players who have been building a respectable position for the Philippines in the region. Such could derail the motorcycle industry’s development and steady recovery from the pandemic,” Barba added.

In its May 2019 compendium for safe motorcycling, the International Motorcycle Manufacturers’ Association (IIMMA) emphasized the importance of enforcement measures and public awareness campaigns in arresting the marketing, sale and use of IP-infringing motor vehicles and parts.

IPOPHL said the IMMA noted that the most commonly counterfeited spare parts are those which are “fast moving” in the aftermarket and those which are frequently replaced, such as filters, spark plugs, brake pads, clutches, suspension items and electrical items, among others.

According to IPOPHL, the MDPPA is one of the local motorcycle manufacturers associations recognized by the Board of Investments (BOI) under the Motor Vehicle Development Program.

IPOPHL said MDPPA is mandated to promote and enhance the capabilities of local manufacturing firms of built-up motorcycle units, including their parts and components, to be competitive in the local and export markets.

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