USTR removes Taiwan from Special 301 Priority Watch List

Jan 20, 2005 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Furniture Ι By Ken LPM, CENS
facebook twitter google+ Pin It plurk

Taipei, Jan. 20, 2004 (CENS)--The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on Jan. 18 removing Taiwan from its Special 301 Priority Watch List and placing the island on the article's Watch List, which entails a looser level of scrutiny than the Special 301 Priority Watch List.

For the first time since 2001, Taiwan was removed from the priority watch list and put on watch list under the Special 301 provisions of the Trade Act of 1974 for its improvements in cracking down illegal copy practices domestically.

Vice Economic Minister R.L. Chen expressed thanks to the USTR's move and Director General of Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), L.S. Tsai, stressed that his organization would continuously struggle for USTR's node on removing Taiwan from watch list.

However, some MOEA officials pointed out that the U.S. was still closely watching Taiwan's move in curbing illegal practices of copying music on the Internet and computer software. They noted that International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and many American intellectual-property organizations had expressed dissatisfactions through USTR with Taiwan's inaction in seizing the island's Internet music exchange platforms including Kuro and ezPeer.

USTR began reviewing its 2004 Special 301 report in autumn last year. Since then, Taiwan had been working hard to convince the office to remove it from the priority watch list by raising its achievements in IP protections including revising laws to fit into its crackdown work, reinforcing crackdowns on counterfeiting practices and setting up IP-protection law enforcers. The efforts paid off eventually.

Tsai pointed out Taiwan was the only economy to be removed from priority watch list in this review. Malaya and Poland remained on the list.

In a press release, USTR said that Taiwan had made impressive progress in protecting intellectual properties although it had not adopted effective regulations to protect data.
©1995-2006 Copyright China Economic News Service All Rights Reserved.