IP Infringement Policy

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INFRINGEMENT POLICY AND REMEDIAL ACTIONS

  1. Purpose of the Intellectual Property Infringement (IPI) Policy. - The Corporation has adopted this Intellectual Property Infringement Policy (IPI Policy) in order to protect its own Intellectual Property Assets such as trademarks, tradenames or business names, and/or copyrighted works used in the platforms, and to minimize the possibility of infringement of Intellectual Property rights of the Corporation and by its platform users. This Intellectual Infringement Policy aims to provide a transparent administrative system for the ownership, use, control, and transfer of the IP created and owned by the Users who are using the platforms of Una Marketplace Inc..
  2. General Framework, Procedures, And Records. - Corporation shall respect intellectual property (IP) rights and conduct its business in compliance with the IP-related laws as applicable in the jurisdiction of the Republic of The Philippines and its agreements with other companies, platform users, and/or third-party suppliers.

The Corporation and its employees shall actively and collectively exert their efforts to protect its own IPs. This shall include the use of registered trademarks and copyrighted items.

In the course of its operations, Corporation shall require the declaration from its platform users or sellers, warranty of IP Ownership, or legal right to the IP of all materials submitted to it for publication on its platforms or websites by the users and it shall maintain an effective system of IP asset management, including maintaining an inventory and records of IP-related assets and agreements.

The Corporation shall not knowingly infringe a user’s or third party's intellectual property in its products, services, or components, or disclose or use a third party's or user’s trade secrets without the express consent of the owner or as permitted by law.

The Corporation shall not knowingly purchase or use counterfeit or other infringing goods and services in running its business, including counterfeit trademark goods or infringing copyright material (such as software, publications, video, audio, or other content) or allow its use by the platform users or business partners or suppliers to use its digital platforms or channels to sell or promote counterfeit, fake, inauthentic, and/or infringing goods. Should it happen that the users, trading, business partners, or suppliers misrepresent and the counterfeit, fake, inauthentic, and/or infringing goods were published or sold in any of the digital platforms or channels of the Corporation, the latter shall implement the necessary remedial actions to address the case, without prejudice to all other legal and administrative actions or remedies available to it.

The Corporation shall properly document and maintain written records of all completed transactions and uses that involve the exercise of IP rights. (This includes, for example, licenses or assignments of rights; manufacture, reproduction, or distribution of patented, trademarked, or copyrighted items; and disclosure and use of trade secrets.)

The Corporation shall require, through binding policies or agreements with employees and users, suppliers, and/or trading or business partners that its personnel comply with the applicable IP laws and the Corporation's IP policies and IP-related provisions in agreements with other companies.

The Corporation shall develop and implement a management system and training programs to ensure that all personnel follows its IP policies. This management system shall encompass all IP-related policies, procedures, and adequate and accurate records necessary to implement, measure, and improve Corporation's IP protection and compliance program.

3. Intellectual Property Infringement. - Definition of Infringement: It is the violation or breach of protected Intellectual Property Rights of the IP Owner. IP rights may be infringed if the work or registered marks protected by IP Laws is copied or otherwise used or exploited without the IP owner’s permission.

In this Policy, platform Users are prohibited to do the following:

(1) Listing products or services to which Users apply or use identical sign or signs similar or akin to a registered trademark to a product or service of another and there exists a likelihood or a possibility that it will create confusion to the public as to the origin or quality of the product or service or establishes the origin of such product or service, without the express consent of the registered trademark owner; 

(2) Listing or submitting to the Corporation for publication of reproduced copyrighted and/or its derivative works subject-matter products without the express or implied consent of the owner of the copyright; 

(3) Listing, submitting to the Corporation, or using sign/s or copyrighted subject-matter (e.g., photographs, drawings, videos) in the description of the products or services, without the express or implied consent of the owner of the copyright or when such sign/s is/are identical, or similar or akin to a registered trademark and there exists a likelihood or a possibility of confusion on the part of the public with regards to the origin, endorsement or association of the product or services and the registered trademark. 

(4) Publishing product descriptions or other information which is misleading or misrepresentative of the product listed for sale, whether there has been an economic value derived from such publication;

(5) Listing of product or services which violates, breaches, or infringes upon any other type of intellectual property right, of which actual damage to the owner is immaterial,  recognized under the laws of the country where the notice of infringement is filed, including, but not limited to, the patents, registered designs, or any type of IPR recognized under law or decided by final order of a court with competent jurisdiction or; 

(6) Any other deceptive or misleading act, not provided hereunder, by Users in relation to the listing of products or services on the Platform, or any conduct, activity, or act intended to circumvent or to avoid this IPR Policy, the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, its implementing rules and regulations, and other applicable laws. This shall also cover other circumstances, analogous to the preceding paragraphs.

The list of prohibited uses is not exclusive. The Corporation reserves the right to amend this IPI Policy to include additional or evolving forms and kinds of infringement, which may exist after the publication of this Policy.

4. Right of the Users to Enter Into Distribution Agreements. - Notwithstanding the above-stated provisions, brand owners, manufacturers, trading companies, and/or distributors may freely enter into agreements in relation to the distribution of their goods or products such as exclusive distribution agreements with any of the platform Users (i.e. clients of the Corporation) and the same shall be a private matter between and among the parties. However, the Corporation will ask clients (platform Users) to make full disclosure about the use of IPs by furnishing the Corporation with a copy of the licensing agreement or any agreement allowing the use of the IP, at the soonest time possible. As the such agreement is a matter between the parties, the terms and conditions and/or consents or waivers made or any violations or enforcement thereto shall be handled by the parties themselves.

5. Notices. - Una Marketplace Inc. does not administer notices of infringement in asking, requesting, or demanding to remove, change, or alter true statements demonstrating compatibility with trademarked products, for example, if a product detail page clearly and truthfully represents that the product being sold on that page is compatible with a trademarked product.

6. Provisions on Parallel Imports. - Except where expressly prohibited by the laws of the country where the IPR infringement notice is filed against the User, Una Marketplace Inc. will not process notices directed against parallel import in the countries where the Platform is located as the Corporation is not a party to the said transaction. It shall be the responsibility of the User to act on the Notices. To ensure that actions related to Parallel Imports are properly addressed, Users are encouraged to embed in their contracts or agreements with their trading partners mechanisms to resolve IP related. Issues. Parallel imports (or gray market goods) refer to branded goods that are imported into a market and sold there without the trademark owner’s consent in that market.

7. Infringement Notices to the Corporation. - Suspected IPR breaches, violations, or infringement by Users, aggrieved parties may submit an IPR Infringement Notice/s to Una Marketplace Inc. through [email protected].

In submitting an IPR Infringement Notice to us, it is required that the aggrieved party must either own or hold the exclusive license to said IPR which is the subject of the infringement notice, or possess a written authorization from the owner, rights holder, or exclusive licensee to cause the submission of the infringement notice on its behalf.

In case of adverse decisions or where the content or product or service listing(s) uploaded have been removed from the platform as a result of action on the IPR Infringement Notice, Users may file an appeal through [email protected] with the subject “IPR Infringement - Involved Store/Business Name”, and should attach all of the necessary documents supporting their appeal.

Una Marketplace Inc. will reinstate the content, or product or service listing(s) removed from the platform in case of a successful appeal.

8. Remedies for Commission of Intellectual Property Offenses. - In the event that the Corporation receives an IP Infringement Notice from the Intellectual Property Office or from any law enforcement or regulatory agencies of the National Government, informing the Senior Management of the Corporation that an Intellectual Property Rights of another have been violated, the following corrective actions may be instituted:

I. IP Infringement Committed by Platform Users:

(a.) Temporarily remove from public viewing or access the drawing, pictures, description, sketches, videos, description, and other promotional material or product information alleged to be violating the intellectual property of another;

(b) Immediately notify the platform user/s of the IP Notice the Corporation receives;

(c) Launch an administrative investigation to be led by the PR and Branding of the Operations Group; 

     i. In this investigation, the platform user/s will be given a reasonable time to file his Reply or Comments to the IP Notice. The Reply or Comments shall be submitted to the investigation department or unit on or before the due date.

     ii. The platform users shall also be required to submit proof of their ownership or legal right to the IP creation alleged to be violating the IP rights of another.

    iii. In the first two immediately preceding sub-section, the Reply or Comments and the proof of ownership or legal title shall be submitted within three (3) working days from receipt of the Notice of IP Infringement.

    iv. PR and Branding of the Operations Department may also communicate to the Complainant to inquire about the nature of the complaint and/or to seek clarification about it. The IPC Committee may also ask the Complainant for a possible amicable settlement of disputes.

     v. PR and Branding of the Operations Department may conduct an Administrative Hearing to properly resolve the question, without causing injustice to all parties concerned.

    vi. In the event that the platform user refuse/s to submit any written Reply or Comments to the investigating team during the Administrative Investigation, the investigating team may resolve the controversy based on the evidence on record. The investigating team shall submit to the IPC Committee its Resolution of the case for their evaluation and approval. The IPC shall render a Decision either to adopt or disapprove the recommendation of the investigating team.

   vii. The IPC shall render its Decision within three (3) days from the submission of the findings of the investigating team. 

  viii. The proceedings in this section shall be without prejudice to any legal recourse of the platform users in any tribunal, quasi-judicial bodies having jurisdiction with the legal controversy, and/or court of competent jurisdiction. In the meantime, the removal of drawings, pictures, descriptions, sketches, videos, descriptions, and other promotional material or product information from public viewing on the platform shall remain.

  ix. When the IP Notice came from another platform user (either in his capacity as a consumer or as another registered seller) and in the course of the proceedings, it was found that there is no cause of action to hold the respondent liable for IP violation, the posting of the drawing, pictures, description, sketches, videos, description, and other promotional material or product information shall be restored immediately. Otherwise, the temporary removal shall be made permanent, without prejudice to all other pecuniary penalties, fines or sanctions that may be imposed on the offending party;

   x. When the IP Notice came from the Intellectual Property Office or from any law-enforcement unit/s or regulatory agencies of the National Government, the temporary removal from public viewing of the drawing, pictures, description, sketches, videos, description, and other promotional material or product information shall remain, unless otherwise allowed or ordered to be restored by the said offices.

(d) PR and Branding, through the Marketing of the Operations Group, shall Implement the Decision of the IPC Committee and recommend other corrective measures.

II. IP Infringement Committed by Users against the Corporation:

(a) Temporarily remove from public viewing or access the drawing, pictures, description, sketches, videos, description, and other promotional material or product information alleged to be violating the intellectual property of another;

(b) Immediately serve the platform user of the IP Notice and temporarily suspend the use or any enjoyment of the access to the platform;

(c) Launch an administrative investigation to be led by the PR and Branding of the Operations Department;

     i. In this investigation, the erring platform user/s will be given a reasonable time to file his Reply or Comments to the IP Notice.

    ii. The platform users shall also be required to submit proof of his ownership or legal right to the IP creation alleged to be violating the IP rights of the Corporation or any other evidence to establish his legal right over the IP.

    iii. In the first two immediately preceding sub-section, the Reply or Comments and the proof of ownership, legal title, or proof of legal right over the IP shall be submitted within three (3) working days from receipt of the Notice of IP Infringement.

   iv. While the administrative case is pending, the Corporation may partially or fully restrict the platform user’s access to all the platforms of the Corporation, depending on the nature, degree, or magnitude of the IP violation committed. The Corporation, at its option and to prevent any further complications, during the pendency of the proceedings, may suspend the platform user’s account indefinitely or until such time when the pending IP Case have been resolved. 

   v. The investigating team shall, as far as practicable, resolve the IP Case within three (3) days from the time the Reply or Comment was submitted to the investigating team. The Resolution shall be submitted to the IPC Committee for adoption or disapproval. 

  vi. In the event that it was established that the platform user committed an IP Infringement, he will be sanctioned accordingly. Otherwise, the proceedings shall be abated and shall be reverted to status quo ante.

(d)  Implement the Decision of the IPC Committee and recommend other corrective measures, without prejudice to all other remedies available to the Corporation.

9. Sanctions. - The following are the sanctions that the Corporation shall impose against those IP offenders:

Removal from public viewing or access to the drawing, pictures, description, sketches, videos, description, and other promotional material or product information violating the intellectual property rights of another;

Account Suspension and/or cancellation across one or all of the platforms of the Corporation, following this graduated scale;

Nos. Of Offense

Period of Suspension

Other Penalties

1st Offense

3 days

Written Warning

2nd Offense

1-week

PHP 500 per item

3rd Offense

1-month

PHP 1,000 per item

4th Offense

Account Cancellation

PHP 2,000 per item but the total amount shall exceed PhP 20,000; Temporary Ban on all platforms of the Corporation for a period of two (2) years

Fines indicated in the above table shall be without prejudice to the claims for moral and economic indemnification to the private offended party.

10. Remedies and Sanctions are not exclusive. - Remedies and Sanctions provided in this Chapter are not exclusive. Aggrieved parties may file legal actions with the appropriate courts or quasi-judicial bodies, without prejudice to the internal proceedings of the Corporation. 

In the same way, the filing of legal actions before the appropriate courts or quasi-judicial bodies will not ipso facto cause the abatement of the internal administrative proceedings of the Corporation; unless lawfully ordered by the appropriate court or quasi-judicial bodies having jurisdiction over the case.

11. Appeals. - Aggrieved parties may appeal the Decision of the IPC Committee to the Senior Management of the Corporation, through the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. The appeal must be brought up within three (3) working days from receipt of the Decision. Otherwise, the Decision of the IPC Committee shall become Final and Executory.

12. Lifting of Bans or Access Restrictions of Users who committed IP Infringement. - After the lapse of two (2) years from the imposition of the User Ban, Users shall now be eligible to have the User Ban lifted. The IPC Committee shall review the details of the case and if it finds that the conditions of the User Ban have complied satisfactorily, it shall recommend to the Marketing of the Operations Group to restore the User Access of the User who committed an IP Infringement.

In this case, the User shall begin with a ‘clean slate’ in his public disclosures and his previous records of IP Infringement shall not be disclosed in his public profile.

13. Reservation of the Right to File Action. - The Corporation, notwithstanding the above provisions, reserves the right to file legal action against anybody for violation of its Moral or Economic Rights for all its IP. The non-exhaustion of any of the remedies provided in this Manual does not mean a waiver of any or all of its causes of actions; neither shall it be a condition sine qua non in filing any legal action/s in any tribunal, quasi-judicial agencies, or court of competent jurisdiction.

14. Management of Cross-Border IP Issues. - In the event that there will be actions for IP emanating from other states, that are members of the World Intellectual Property Organization, said action shall be processed in accordance with Sec. 38 of this Chapter.  However, the offending party shall be responsible for attending to the legal and compulsory processes as may be instituted in other states.

To manage cross-border issues on IP, the IPC Committee and/or Senior Management shall coordinate with the subsidiaries and affiliates of the Corporation to ensure that all IPs of the Corporation, its affiliates, and subsidiaries are protected, and its economic and moral rights are enforced.

15. Jurisdiction and Venue of Action. - Any IPR Dispute which may arise by reason of the use of the Corporation’s platform, shall be governed, adjudicated, and resolved by the laws of the Republic of The Philippines and the proper courts of Pasig City shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate the same.