US removes Philippines from IP black list after 20 years

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has removed the Philippines from its Special 301 Watch List of countries lacking in intellectual property protection.

The agency announced that the sanction against the Philippines has been lifted after beonig in the list for two decades. The USTR is an office under US President Barack Obama, who arrived in Manila for a two-day visit.

The country has been in the Priority Watch List since 1994, and was first listed in 1989.

“In recent years, the government has enacted a series of significant legislative and regulatory reforms to enhance the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Philippines,” the USTR said.

It also lauded the country’s improvement in civil and administrative enforcement of intellectual property laws as well as the Filipino officials’ “commitment” in the area.

The office, however, failed to cite specific Philippine policies enacting recently that led to the USTR decision.

The USTR, meanwhile, reminded Manila to further address “significant challenges” in making a fair and equitable market access for individuals relying on intellectual property protection.

A country’s placement on the 301 Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country or economy with respect to intellectual property rights protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property.

US trading partners on the list become the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem

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