US Removes Taiwan From IP Protection Watch List

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In 2001, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) called Taiwan a "haven for pirates," but those days are now over. Last week, Taiwan was removed from the U.S. government's Special 301 Watch List, which identifies countries that are determined to have little or no protection for the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies.

"Taiwan has come a long way on this issue over the last eight years," USTR said in a statement, announcing the decision to remove Taiwan from the list, which identifies countries that the U.S. hopes to see strengthen their intellectual property laws.

The decision to take Taiwan off the watch list came after a special review that started in April. That review found Taiwan had "strengthened its enforcement, strengthened its laws, and demonstrated a commitment to becoming a haven for innovation and creativity," USTR said.

The U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, a trade and lobbying group that represents U.S. and Taiwanese companies, welcomed the news.

"Removing Taiwan from the 301 Watch List gives well-deserved recognition to Taiwan's many constructive actions, and to the Taiwan government's responsiveness to the concerns expressed by U.S. right holders," the group said in an e-mail statement.

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