Pakistan on US IPRs Watch List
ISLAMABAD: The United States will continue to keep Pakistan on its Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) Watch List and conduct an out-of-cycle review to monitor its progress on the IPRs during 2007, according to a Special 301 Report released by the office of US Trade Representative on Tuesday.
In 2006, Pakistan was lowered from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List in recognition of its progress on IPRs enforcement.
The out-of-cycle review for Pakistan is being conducted as the US still has concerns about the lack of effective protection against unfair commercial use of data generated to obtain marketing approval and the failure to codify the existing system of coordination between health and patent authorities to prevent the issuance of marketing approvals for patents infringing upon pharmaceutical products.
During US Trade Representative Susan C Schwab’s visit to Pakistan on April 16, Pakistani trade managers had assured the US side that their concerns on data, health and patent-related issues would be addressed when the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) would be established in Pakistan.
The US report places countries that deny adequate and effective protection for IPRs or deny fair and equitable market access to persons that rely on intellectual property protection on its Priority Watch List. India, China, Russia, Argentina, Chile and Egypt are among the countries on the Priority Watch List for 2007.
Countries that have made considerable progress on protection of IPRs and are trying hard to strengthen their IPR-related policies, enforcement, practices and institutions are kept on the IPRs Watch List. Pakistan is among 30 countries that have been placed on the watch list for 2007. “The US commends Pakistan for continuing to take enforcement actions against large-scale illegal optical disc production and retail sales of pirated and counterfeit products,” says the report.
Source: Daily Times