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back to index backCHINAtalk June,  2005


Global protection of intellectual property rights

The Office of The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has just issued its annual report, referred to as the "2005 Special 301 Report," which examines the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in 90 different countries. The conclusions of the report are sobering.

China is a major focus of the report. Indeed, the report states that IPR issues in China are "critical" because of "the rampant counterfeit and piracy problems that plague China's domestic market and the fact that China has become a leading exporter of counterfeit and pirated goods to the world."

The USTR also shines light on Ukraine in the report. Specifically, there is "continued need" for Ukraine "to take effective action against significant levels of optical media piracy and to implement intellectual property laws that provide adequate and effective protection."

"Significant concerns" are identified in the report with respect to IPR protection in Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Phillippines, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.

The USTR notes that optical media piracy and trademark counterfeiting are "increasing problems" in Brazil, Bulgaria, China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Phillippines, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam.

The report does cover certain areas of progress. For example, in October, 1998, the United States announced an Executive Order that directed U.S. government agencies to maintain procedures to ensure proper use of software. In this context, the USTR was directed to work with other governments regarding government use of illegal software. The report states that "considerable progress" has occurred as part of this initiative.

Indeed, countries and territories that have issued decrees requiring the use of only authorized software by government ministries include Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Lebanon, Macau, Paraguay, Peru, the Phillippines, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Plainly, the world is a much smaller place than in earlier times. To be effective, IPR protection must occur on a global scale. Certainly, this is easier said than done, but efforts in this direction over time will lead to incremental and important progress.


For the full, 65-page report, click here.

Source: USAToday.com - GAI

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CHINAtalk

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