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Philippines Criminal Authorities Raid Test Preparation Center Accused of Using Recalled NPTE Test Items

Philippines Criminal Authorities Raid Test Preparation Center Accused of Using Recalled NPTE Test Items

On Friday, January 26, 2007, agents of the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation, Intellectual Property Rights Division (“NBI-IPRD”) raided two locations of the St. Louis Review Center (“SLRC”) in Manila. The raids were conducted following a complaint made by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (“FSBPT”) that SLRC was believed to be using copyrighted test items from the National Physical Therapy Exam (“NPTE”) in its NPTE preparation courses.

Prior to the raids, agents of the NBI-IPRD conducted a criminal surveillance operation of the test centers, which confirmed the unlawful use of the test items. Specifically, SLRC was found to be providing its students with copies of actual NPTE test items that candidates who had previously taken the exam recalled by memory. Armed with this information, the NBI-IPRD applied for and obtained search warrants from the Philippines Regional Trial Court authorizing the seizure of items used or intended to be used in furtherance of criminal violations of Philippines copyright laws by SLRC and its owners, instructors and other representatives. The raids occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time, and the NBI-IPRD agents seized various examination preparation materials, enrollment forms and other documents, as well as a computer and numerous computer files.

“We are very pleased that the Filipino authorities have taken this next step in the criminal prosecution of SLRC and the individuals associated with SLRC,” stated E. Dargan Ervin, Jr., FSBPT President. “The FSBPT is committed to protecting its copyrighted test items and preserving the integrity of the NPTE, and we will be cooperating fully with the criminal authorities as this prosecution goes forward. However, we want to reassure those preparing to take the NPTE that this action will not affect any current testing operations. The NPTE will continue to be given at all testing facilities in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”

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