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US seeks WTO settlement panel on China piracy case

Posted: 15 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:piracy case? WTO settlement panel? US IPR protection?

Pursuing the piracy cases it filed against China in April, the United States has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a dispute settlement panel, according to a statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

"The United States and China have tried, through formal consultations over the last three months, to resolve differences arising from U.S. concerns about inadequate protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in China," said USTR spokesman Sean Spicer. "Over the past several years, China has taken tangible steps to improve IPR protection and enforcement. However, we still see important gaps that need to be addressed. We will pursue this legal dispute in the WTO and will continue to work with China bilaterally on other important IPR issues."

The United States is seeking to eliminate significant structural deficiencies that give pirates and counterfeiters in China a safe harbor to avoid criminal liability. It is also seeking to improve enforcement procedures at China's border, and to give copyright owners more tools to prevent the production of unauthorized copies in China.

The United States requested WTO dispute settlement consultations with China over these issues in April. Both countries held consultations in early June, but China has not taken any steps that address these U.S. concerns during this period, the statement said.

The U.S. panel request will be considered by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body at its next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 31.

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