Sunday, May 12, 2013

USTR Special 301 report 2013 - Vietnam and Philippines

Continuing from the earlier post, there are positive reviews for the Philippines and Vietnam this year.
The Philippines is on the Watch List. It has finally passed new copyright laws and customs procedures. It's challenges remain over Internet piracy, anti-evergreening rules in the patent law, poor protection of undisclosed confidential information and strengthening enforcement (such as criminal enforcement and predictability for search and seizure orders). There are many positives in the report, such as Madrid accession, illegal camcording reduction, improved court procedural rules and the efforts of IP officials in the government are praised. There is even a suggestion of a further review if the situation improves.

Vietnam gets a mixed report and remains on the Watch List. Despite a flurry of new rules, many areas remain weak. Internet piracy is growing now and needs to be addressed, physical counterfeit goods remain widely available, book piracy, software piracy (including on government computer systems), and cable and satellite signal theft continue to be widespread. Overall IP enforcement progress is low, with few criminal cases. Capacity restraints of enforcement agencies are weak.

IP Komodo comments that the Philippines is making some genuine reforms, driven by their proactive IP office, but they struggle to influence more distant ministries. Vietnam's problems are more emerging, as IPR commerce develops new challenges while the old ones are growing as the economy develops. Things may worsen before they improve.


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