U.S. Government Praises Mexico for Advances in Protection of Intellectual Property

SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico, May 12, 1999 | Go to article overview

U.S. Government Praises Mexico for Advances in Protection of Intellectual Property


In a special report on protection of intellectual property, the US Trade Representative's Office (USTR) praised Mexico for taking significant steps toward enforcing international copyright guidelines. But the report, released the end of April, also listed Mexico on the "watch list" of countries that need continued monitoring of policies regarding protection of intellectual property. The report, which examined the copyright-protection policies of 70 US trading partners, was produced under the Special 301 provisions of the Trade Act of 1974. This year's report emphasized three areas: timely implementing of a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on intellectual-property rights; cracking down on pirated production of optical media such as compact discs; and ensuring that government ministries use only authorized computer software. The USTR report lauded the Mexican government for its commitment to implement and enforce high levels of intellectual-property protection consistent with its international obligations. The USTR said the agency was "encouraged" by a special initiative promoted by President Ernesto Zedillo's administration in 1998 to combat piracy of intellectual property and the passage of anti-piracy legislation in late April of this year. "We look to the government now to devote the resources necessary and efforts necessary to fully enforce the new anti-piracy initiative," the USTR said in a statement.

Report also urges Mexico to take further action The agency said Mexico was being kept on a watch list because of its recent poor record in enforcing existing counterfeiting and anti-piracy laws. "Despite a significant number of raids in 1998, only a small percentage resulted in court decisions, and the levels of penalties assessed when court decisions are made are inadequate to deter future piracy." Mexico was included on the watch list along with Canada, the third partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Spain, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Poland, the Philippines, and 29 other countries are included in this list. The USTR placed 16 other trading partners, including the European Union (EU) and Russia, on a "priority watch list. …

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