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AmCham lauds IPR law revisions

Taipei Times, Taiwan

11 September 2004

AmCham lauds IPR law revisions

By Amber Chung


In light of Taiwan’s efforts to improve intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) yesterday said that it has been urging the US government to take action to remove Taiwan from its "Special 301 Priority Watch List" of IPR violators as quickly as possible.

"AmCham previously informed Premier Yu Shyi-kun and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng that if crucial amendments to the Copyright Law were enacted, the Chamber would consider that Taiwan had demonstrated its sincerity and effectiveness in improving the IPR climate," AmCham president Andrea Wu said at the chamber’s 53rd anniversary ceremony in Taipei yesterday.

"The amendments were passed during the legislature’s special session in August. Now we believe the US side should duly recognize what Taiwan has accomplished," she said.

The US government has acknowledged the possibility of conducting a special mid-term review of Taiwan’s inclusion in the Special 301 Priority Watch List, AmCham said in a statement issued yesterday.

It will be difficult to resume bilateral talks on the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, or even contemplate establishing a free trade agreement, so long as Taiwan remains on the list, the chamber said.

The amendments passed last month mandate a minimum sentence for manufacturers and distributors of counterfeit products, and authorizes customs officials to inspect shipments suspected of containing copyright-infringing products, the lack of which the foreign business community thought were a major deficiency in Copyright Law amendment passed last year.

AmCham has more than 800 members ranging from automobile and medical device manufacturers to professionals in the insurance and banking industries. Wu said the trade organization has helped forge a crusial bridge between Taiwan and the US.