Close this search box.



Greenhills mall free of fake goods by 2027


MANILA: The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), brand owners and enforcement agencies held on May 9, 2024 a dialogue with the Greenhills Shopping Center (GSC), which presented ongoing developments in its campaign to encourage its flea market traders to shift away from counterfeit products. At the meeting, GSC Assistant Vice President and Trade Fairs and Exhibits Head James Candelaria presented the mall's 10-year roadmap, which aims to gradually move 100% of its merchants away from selling intellectual property (IP) infringing products by 2027. Starting in 2020, GSC management decided to reduce the number of stalls to 1,412 from 1,771. Candelaria said as of October 2023, 80 percent of the traders have gone through the transition program and are now selling local products, Halal items, jewelry, antiques, furniture pieces and artworks. He also showed that over the years since the implementation of the roadmap, the mall was able to weed out nearly 299 stores by suspension. The GSC suspe nded stores that violate its rules, including IP rules, and majority of the suspended sellers, Candelaria said, did not return to GSC. 'What we have done so far is really to educate our traders along the way, to tell them that it's time to change and that there are other products to profit from,' Candelaria said. Some of GSC's notable and recent education initiatives include a learning event with the Department of Trade and Industry attended by over 400 merchants and 'Bagsakan' events where the GSC showcases local products traders could explore selling. Since 2022, the mall has refused to accept applicants who intend to sell bags, watches and similar products, except where local manufacturers or labeled products are involved. The category usually makes up a big share of the counterfeit products seized by the National Committee on IP Rights (NCIPR). The GSC also provided incentives to stores that sell local delicacies and items, placing them at premium locations, which stand at various entrances of the bui lding where the flea market is located. The meeting was also attended by the legal representatives of luxury brands, who discussed solutions with GSC for their teams to better monitor stores. Also in attendance were NCIPR members, such as the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Customs. The dialogue was followed by a brief tour, through which GSC showed the new mall building, filled with well-known apparel brands and food stores, and the flea market. IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba reminded stall owners on the importance of selling original products, noting IPOPHL will soon conduct an IP briefing with them to help them transition to legitimate goods. He also commended the GSC's ongoing efforts in cultivating a sense of IP respect among its merchants. 'We laud the commitment of the GSC to work together with its merchants to create a fairer and more IP-conscious business environment. We look forward to seeing more positive outcomes from this transition program,' Barba said. Meanwhile, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, who had been informed of the developments at the mall, lauded the GSC and its merchants for a more active approach to respect IP and urged other counterfeiting hotspots to follow suit. 'We call on other malls to look at the GSC as an example and see how good business practices can be done gradually,' said Pascual, who is also chair of the NCIPR. While the GSC is the lone physical market flagged in the United States Trade Representative Notorious Markets Lists, it is joined by the Cartimar Shopping Center and the markets of Baclaran and Divisoria on the European Commission's Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List. IPOPHL Supervising Director Christine Pangilinan-Canlapan said the IP Rights Enforcement Office is working to soon enjoin the Metro Manila Council-composed of the mayors of the cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region-in IPOPHL's push to clean out counterfeiting in markets. Source: Philippines News Agency