Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WTO rules for US in IP dispute with China

From the WTO: "The WTO, on 26 January 2009, issued the report of a panel that had examined United States’ complaint against “China — Measures affecting the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights” (DS362)."

The full report is available in a variety of formats at the WTO site but IP Watch has a succinct summary of the findings."
" China has been found in violation of two of its responsibilities under international rules on trade and intellectual property, and in partial violation of one more, said a World Trade Organization panel report on the US-China dispute over copyright and customs matters released Monday. But the panel did not make a decision on some of the US claims.

The panel has recommended that China alter its copyright law and customs measures to be consistent with its obligations under the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.

The final report finds China’s copyright law inconsistent with Article 9 of the TRIPS agreement, which incorporates the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Work. The panel stated that China is inconsistent with Berne Convention Rule 5(1), which requires that foreign owners of creative works receive the same protection as domestic owners of similar material.

The panel decision also found China to be in violation of TRIPS Article 41.1, which requires members to have available laws “so as to permit effective action against any act of infringement of intellectual property rights covered by this agreement,” including remedies which “constitute a deterrent to further infringements.”"

Update: Forbes mentions the ruling was not the slam dunk victory for the US that's been widely reported. And Michael Geist says it was a major victory for China.

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