Wed, May 03, 2000 - Page 17 News List

IPR record puts Taiwan on 301 list

By Nadia Tsao  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

The US Trade Representative Office said Monday that it has placed Taiwan on a "watch list" in its annual "Special 301" review because of Taiwan's mixed record concerning the protection of intellectual property rights during the past year.

Taiwan was placed on the list along with 39 other US trading partners.

"In general, our trading partners have made good progress in the implementation of existing commitments," said US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky. "However, we remain concerned about certain failures to comply fully with WTO agreements."

The US trade office indicated in its review that Taiwan's record on intellectual property rights was mixed over the last year.

One the positive side, top level support within the Ministry of Economic Affairs (經濟部) has finally resulted in the establishment of an effective Intellectual Property Office.

Within their leadership, and the active cooperation of the investigative Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, a number of illegal CD production facilities have been closed during, and a number of retail raids have been conducted.

But on the negative side, the report indicated, responsibility for intellectual property matters is still badly fragmented among different agencies.

The report noted that Taiwan is now among the world's largest producers of optical media. Toleration of extremely lax procedures in enforcing intellectual property rights in this area is out of step with Taiwan's increasing role as an originator of intellectual property, the report said.

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