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Monday, 1 May 2006


The US has issued its 2006 ‘Special 301’ annual report of countries that it considers to be providing inadequate intellectual property protection.

IP villains are divided into 3 categories. The most severe is the ‘priority watch list’ and consists of Argentina, Belize, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Russia Ukraine, and Venezuela. These are countries which are said to not provide an adequate level of IPR protection or enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection

Less severe is the ‘watch list’, consisting of the Bahamas, Belarus, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, European Union, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. These are countries which are said to merit bilateral attention to address IP problems.

Least severe is the 306 monitoring list. Paraguay is on this list.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Slovak Republic and Uruguay were removed from the list completely.

No countries were placed in the most severe category, the Priority Foreign Country list.

While the IPKat favours compliance with international IP obligations and suitably rigorous enforcement, he’s a bit uneasy about the prospect of one country so publicly putting other countries in the proverbial doghouse over IP matters. The Kat also notes that the US isn’t always squeaky clean over its compliance.

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