Philippines remains on US priority watch list

The U.S. government last week raised "serious concerns" against the Philippines for not providing "consistent, effective and sustained protection" of the intellectual property rights (IPR) of American manufacturers in the country.

In the annual Special 301 Report of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Philippines was again put under the U.S. Priority Watch List (PWL) for IPR violations. The country has been included in the PWL for the past three years at least.

Based on the USTR report, countries or economies on the PWL do not provide an adequate level of IPR protection or enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection.

The USTR report said U.S. distributors still report high levels of pirated optical disks in the Philippines. These pirated disks contain movies, musical works, computer games, and business software. U.S. distributors also alleged widespread unauthorized transmissions of unlicensed movies and other programming on cable television systems.

The report noted that trademark infringement in a variety of product lines is widespread, with counterfeit or pirated merchandise openly available in both legitimate and illegitimate venues.

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