USTR to Evaluate IPR Protection Improvements in Thailand
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced an out-of-cycle review of Thailand, which was placed on the priority watch list in USTR’s 2017 Special 301 report. As part of this process USTR will publish a Federal Register notice seeking comments on Thailand’s intellectual property rights protection record.
A USTR press release states that in recent months Thailand has taken steps to improve enforcement against pirated and counterfeit goods, including enhanced coordination among enforcement agencies and a sustained focus on investigations and raids. In addition, Thailand has acceded to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, making it easier for U.S. companies to file for trademark protection. Thailand also has been addressing its backlog of patent and trademark applications, including by hiring a significant number of additional examiners.
At the same time, USTR states, the U.S. is continuing to engage with Thailand on other important issues, such as reforms to its legal system and improving transparency and due process with respect to pharmaceutical issues. USTR notes that successful resolution of specific IPR issues may lead to a change in Thailand’s Special 301 status.