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Taiwan stays off U.S intellectual property watch list for 9th year

2017/04/29 20:35:57

Taipei, April 29 (CNA) The United States has decided not to put Taiwan on a special watch list for the ninth year, in recognition of Taiwan's efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs), the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) said Saturday.

The annual Special 301 Report, released by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Friday, reviewed more than 100 countries and identified trade barriers to U.S. companies and products due to the intellectual property law, such as copyright, patents and trademarks.

Taiwan was placed on the watch list in 2004 but was removed in 2009 and has not been listed since then.

In its report, the USTR said Taiwan has continued to enforce protection of trade and business secrets in recent years.

However, the USTR said, it is hoped that Taiwan can step up protection of trade secrets and push for government agencies' use of authorized software, pharmaceutical innovation and market access.

The U.S. will also continue to push for IPR protection under the framework of the World Trade Organization, the report said.

According to the BOFT, Taiwan has been working to amend its Copyright Act and the Trademark Act and looks forward to continued communication with the U.S. through the bilateral Trade Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

The 1994 TIFA is the primary mechanism for dialogue on trade between the U.S. and Taiwan and provides an opportunity for the two sides to discuss how to expand trade and investment links and deepen cooperation.

Meanwhile, China remained on the USTR Priority Watch List for trade secret theft, rampant online piracy and counterfeiting, and high levels of physical pirated and counterfeit exports to markets around the globe.

In addition to China, 10 other countries were put on the Priority Watch List, while 23 counties were put on the Watch List in this year's Special 301 report.

(By Huang Ya-Chuan and Lilian Wu)