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17 November 2014
On April 30 2014 the Philippines was removed from the Office of the United States Trade Representative's (USTR) Special 301 Watch List, after being on the list since 1994. The USTR Special 301 Report categorises trading partners and countries into 'priority foreign countries', 'priority watch list' and ordinary 'watch list', based on the protection they afford to intellectual property. The countries on the list do not effectively and adequately protect IP rights.
In 2011 the Philippines was categorised as 'ordinary watch list' without cycle review. In 2012 the Philippines was removed from the USTR Notorious Market List, and in 2014 it was removed from the Special 301 Watch List. Removal will have a positive effect on the Philippines' image as a country where IP rights are respected and IP laws are being implemented and followed. It also strengthens the Philippines' position a champion for IP enforcement in Southeast Asia.
Along with progress comes the continuing commitment of the members of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights to be vigilant against piracy and counterfeiting.
For further information on this topic please contact Lee Benjamin Z Lerma at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles by telephone (+63 2 848 0114), fax (+63 2 815 3172) or email (email@example.com). The Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles website can be accessed at www.romulo.com.
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Benjamin Z Lerma