PH remains in U.S. piracy watch list

The Philippines is still in the list of countries the United States deems notorious for intellectual property (IP) piracy.

The U.S Trade Representative's (USTR) so-called Special 301 Report kept the Philippines in its "watch list" along with 29 other countries amid "significant concern" on IP rights (IPR) violations.

"The United States looks to the Philippines to take important steps to address piracy over the Internet, in particular with respect to notorious online markets," the report said.

The USTR also underlined "the need to strengthen criminal enforcement" of intellectual property rights and to "improve predictability with respect to search and seizure orders."

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Also in need of review, the USTR said, are laws "that limit the patentability of certain chemical forms unless the applicant demonstrates increased efficacy."

The Philippines has also been encouraged to improve protection against the unfair commercial use and unauthorized disclosure of tests and other data on pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemical products.

The USTR however lauded efforts by officials and legislators in strengthening the protection and enforcement of IPR in the Philippines.

It particularly noted amendments to the Intellectual Property Code to make it consistent with the World Intellectual Property Office Internet Treaties.

The country has also been cited for "the continuing drop in the incidence of unauthorized camcording of motion pictures in theaters."

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The Philippines has been in USTR's regular watchlist since its removal from the priority watch list in 2006.

Other countries in the watch list this year are Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Tagged under the "priority watch list" meanwhile were 10 countries: Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela.

"Countries placed on the Priority Watch List are the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas," the USTR said.

The report is the result of deliberations among U.S. state agencies and consultations with the US Congress, foreign governments and other interested parties.

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