Largest Manufacturing Plant of Bathroom Fixtures Raided by NBI for Alleged Use of Pirated Software
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Above photo shows agents of the NBI-IPRD pooling the seized computers at the lobby of HCG plant in Cavite. A total of 46 computers loaded with pirated copies of Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft software were seized from the company’s plant in Cavite while 24 computers were seized from the company’s office in Makati.

Manila, Philippines – Hocheng Philippines Corporation popularly known as HCG Philippines, the largest manufacturing plant of bathroom fixtures in the country, was raided by the National Bureau of Investigation’s Intellectual Property Rights Division (NBI-IPRD) yesterday for alleged use of computers with unlicensed and pirated software.

HCG is a joint venture between Hocheng Corporation of Taiwan and Filipino-owned property developer Filinvest Corporation.

Armed with search warrants issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court, agents of the NBI-IPRD simultaneously raided HCG’s sales and marketing office in 1163 Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio Village in Makati City as well as its ten hectare plant located in First Cavite Industrial Estate, Bgy. Lagkaan, Dasmarinas, Cavite.

“Companies using unlicensed software in their operations are practicing unfair competition and gaining undue advantage over its competitors. This practice is not only unethical but also illegal, and they must pay for the consequences,” said Atty. Elfren Meneses, chief of the NBI-IPRD.

“We hope this will serve as a lesson for other companies big and small, to be more mindful of the software they use. Use of unlicensed and pirated software may give them some headway against other companies but at the risk of serious and perhaps irreparable harm to their business and their reputation. If they commit an unlawful act, no company will be spared regardless of its size or position in the industry,” Meneses emphasized.

The raid against HCG resulted in the seizure of 46 computers from its Cavite plant and 24 computers from its Makati office, all loaded with pirated Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft software software. By virtue of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, HCG officers are now facing penalties of up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of up to 1.5 million pesos.

The software piracy complaint against HCG was filed by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) on behalf of its members. The BSA has been a staunch supporter of the government’s fight against software piracy in the coordinated effort of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) composed of the NBI, the Optical Media Board and the Philippine National Police.

As part of its support to the PAPT, the BSA offers a reward of up to one million pesos to anyone who provides information leading to a successful action and prosecution against a business establishment using unlicensed and pirated software. Informants can submit their report through BSA’s hotline numbers, (02) 895-6438 and 1-800-10-BSA-HTLN (1-800-10-272-4856, toll-free).

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