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Draft IRR outlines special IP protections for indigenous weaves, distinctive domestic foods

PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said its draft rules for the Intellectual Property Code includes special protections for the products of indigenous peoples, in particular their food and woven goods, as well as other domestic items based on their geographic origins.

IPOPHL said the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act No. 8293, or the IP Code, drafted by the Bureau of Trademarks, recognize a mechanism for protecting products via a system of Geographical Indications (GIs) that will render such products protectable.

Expected beneficiaries of the GI scheme are Guimaras mangoes and the Tau Sebu T’nalak weaves, which are registered as collective marks, it said in a statement. 

“Others are Bicol pili, Davao pomelo, Cordillera heirloom rice; Camiguin lanzones; Davao cacao; Kalinga coffee; Antique bagtason loom products; Aurora sabutan weaves; Samar basey banig mats; Basilan and Zamboanga Yakan cloth; and Masbate beef and Baguio strawberries,” IPOPHL said.

The draft IRR defines GIs as “any indication which identifies a good as originating in a territory, region or locality, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and/or human factors.”  

The IRR added that the protection of GIs builds competitive advantage for indigenous and other domestic products.

The IRR draft underwent a first round of stakeholder consultations on Thursday.

“We hope we can finalize and implement the IRR soon so we can make our unique and high-quality Philippine products more attractive. Supporting these goods (in gaining) the global spotlight they deserve, will make a tangible difference in the lives of our farmers, our weavers and all who make up our GI landscape,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

The IRR also outlines a registration and application process. Protection for a GI will remain valid unless its registration is cancelled.

According to the IPOPHL, GIs are protected under the trademarks section of the IP Code. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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