World Powers Top America's Counterfeiting Hit List; CHINA CONNECTION PIRACY

Article excerpt

China and Russia again lead the US's annual list of the world's biggest producers of pirated and counterfeited goods.

The US recently filed a pair of complaints against China at the World Trade Organisation for failing to adequately protect US goods - ranging from films and music to manufactured items - from piracy and counterfeiting.

Russia's failure to stop the same problem is a major factor blocking its entry into the WTO.

"We must defend ideas, inventions and creativity from rip-off artists and thieves," US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said in a statement accompanying the report, which details world copyright and patent theft.

It noted: "The administration's top priorities this year continue to be addressing weak IPR (intellectual property rights) protection and enforcement, particularly in China and Russia."

USTR will conduct a special review this year to assess how well Russia is honouring commitments to improve its IPR regime.

US political concern over the worldwide trade in fake and illegally-copied goods has mounted in recent years.

At a time when its trade deficit continues to set new records, lawmakers complain that piracy and counterfeiting is robbing the US of exports in industries and sectors where it should have an advantage. …