The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) aims to regulate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are selling products online using Facebook as a sales platform. Philippines is a fast growing digital commerce market in the SEA region. In January 2018, Facebook introduced its marketplace service in the country allowing Facebook users to use Facebook as a platform to buy and sell goods online. However, plenty of sellers on Facebook are selling their products without having registered stores and this leads to problems in relation to intellectual property violations as it becomes very difficult to trace these people if they sell fake goods.
In order to address this issue and regulate the FB marketplace, IPOPHL is working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to push for the registration of online retailers with the DTI. So, in case an online seller is found without registration, it may be removed/taken down from Facebook. IPOPHL intends to seek help from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as well, to gain more authority to ask Facebook to take down the social media pages of illegal online businesses. IPOPHL is also keen to work with trademark owners as their cooperation is key in enforcing intellectual property. Many may not be aware that how the Facebook marketplace is so used in the Philippines.