Asia prominent on U.S. IPR watch list

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SEOUL -- Asia remains a region of concern for poor intellectual property rights protection, according to the 2008 "Special 301" report issued Friday by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Of the nine countries named to the Priority Watch List by the USTR, four came from Asia. Of the 36 countries on the less-serious Watch List, nine came from Asia.

China, India, Pakistan and Thailand were named to the Priority Watch list, while Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam were on the Watch List.

China and Russia in particular were identified for their poor IP protection, with Chinese Web sites Baidu, Alibaba and Taobao all mentioned by name.

"China remains a top intellectual property enforcement and TRIPS compliance priority for the United States," the report said.

Of the countries removed from the Watch List or that saw their status improve from last year, none were from Asia, although the report said that an out-of-cycle review to be completed by the summer might take Taiwan off the Watch List.

Pakistan was elevated this year to the Priority Watch List.
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