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USTR Announces Results of Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Thailand

17-Dec-2017 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 5913
WASHINGTON, DC - US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer announced the conclusion and results of the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of Thailand, including moving Thailand from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List.

“A key objective of the Trump Administration’s trade policy is ensuring that US owners of intellectual property (IP) have a full and fair opportunity to use and profit from their IP around the globe,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “The key to promoting innovation is protecting intellectual property. We welcome the corrective actions that Thailand has taken and look forward to continuing to work with Thailand to resolve our remaining IP concerns.”

According to the USTR, the Trump Administration has been closely engaging with Thailand on improving IP protection and enforcement as part of the bilateral US-Thailand Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. This engagement has yielded results on resolving US IP concerns across a range of issues, including on enforcement, patents and pharmaceuticals, trademarks, and copyright.

For example, Thailand established an interagency National Committee on Intellectual Property Policy and a subcommittee on enforcement against intellectual property infringement, led by the Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister, respectively. This strong level of interest from the highest levels of the government led to improved coordination among government entities, as well as enhanced and sustained enforcement efforts to combat counterfeit and pirated goods throughout the country.

Thailand also has been taking steps to address backlogs for patent and trademark applications, including significantly increasing the number of examiners and streamlining regulations.  In addition, Thailand joined the Madrid Protocol, making it easier for US companies to apply for trademarks, and took steps to address concerns regarding online piracy affecting the US content industry.

Other results include a commitment from Thailand to improve transparency related to pharmaceutical issues, such as taking stakeholder input into account as it considers amendments to its Drug Act and providing interested stakeholders with regular consultation opportunities with the Thai Food and Drug Administration.

In light of Thailand’s progress, USTR is closing the OCR that was initiated on September 15, 2017, and is moving Thailand from the Special 301 Priority Watch List to the Watch List.  The United States will continue to engage bilaterally with Thailand to address other remaining IP concerns, which are highlighted in the 2017 Special 301 Report.
 
 
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