INTA unveiled its Unreal Campaign in the Philippines, an integrated awareness initiative which aims to educate young people about the value of trademarks and the negative effects of counterfeiting, at the Assumption College (Makati) during a launch event held last 14 October.  Over 300 students from Assumption College (Makati), representing various departments, such as Media Production, Advertising, Performing Arts, Corporate Management, Human Resource, International Business, Marketing Management, Entrepreneurship and Tourism Management, participated in  the event.

The Unreal campaign utilizes social media, traditional media and special events to raise awareness on the issue. The campaign was initially focused on teens in the United States and has expanded to other countries and regions since 2013. In addition to reaching out to teens online, INTA and member volunteers visit university and high school classrooms around the world to discuss trademarks and counterfeiting.

As part of the launch,  INTA organized a 2-hour seminar in which students learned about intellectual property (IP) rights, counterfeiting and its hazards as well as trademark enforcement in the Philippine setting.  QT Intellectual Property Practice Group Partner, Divina Ilas-Panganiban provided an overview of IP concepts, including trademarks, copyright and patents.  She said,

an understanding of IP rights is an important skill set in today’s increasingly dynamic, information-based economy. Building awareness is encouraged in academic institutions where many of society’s brightest students first learn about and begin practicing innovation and entrepreneurship.

Further discussions on the importance of protecting strong brands as well as presentations of actual enforcement case studies were provided.  QT Intellectual Property Practice Group Head and Partner, Bienvenido Marquez III presented a number of the firm client experiences, such as actions done on behalf of several clients. Bien is the chairperson of INTA's Anti-Counterfeiting Subcommittee for East Asia & The Pacific.

One of the world's leading consumer brands, Procter & Gamble, was represented by their in-house trademark counsel, Nina Ramesh. She highlighted: “It is important to protect your equity. If you don't have your equity, you don't have something you can build your products and services upon".  Other INTA-member firms, represented by  Katrina Doble (V&A LAW Villaraza & Angangco), Regina Reyes-Rara (MarksPro Philippines) and Leslie Anne Cruz (Cesar C. Cruz & Partners Law Offices) also provided IP and trademark protection insights.

The closing remarks was delivered by Allan Gepty, Deputy Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.  Mr. Gepty discussed what the Philippine Government is doing to protect IP rights in the country.  Mr. Gepty also explained how the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and other IP enforcement agencies can help brand owners in the fight against counterfeits.

INTA, QT and other member volunteers will visit other high schools and colleges across the country to continue the public awareness promotion to educate teens about trademarks and intellectual property rights in general.

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