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Korea to be Listed on Priority Watch List

Posted May. 04, 2004 20:53,   


On May 4, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) disclosed that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has included Korea on their Priority Watch List (PWL) for intellectual properties, released on May 3 (local time).

In accordance with the 182nd provision of the U.S. trade law, the USTR released its annual report on intellectual property copyrights, listing Korea on its priority watch list due to Korea’s insufficient rate of protection.

The function of the PWL or Watch List (WL) is to relay the message that the United States maintains strict surveillance over the intellectual copyright protection rate and the relevant tendencies in a certain country.

But, as the designation is different from that of the PFC appointment that initiates the investigation and negotiation procedure immediately after the address of designation, the MFAT explained that no direct consequences will follow.

Though Korea was categorized as a WL country on the last report by USTR, the status has been changed beginning with this January’s irregular inspection.

On the report, the USTR assessed Korea’s large scale effort to protect intellectual rights as positive, but pointed out that the illegal duplication of songs through digital means, illegal sale and purchase of DVD discs, prevalence of faked commodities, and violation of pharmaceutical goods should be reformed immediately.

On this report, the European Union, Taiwan and the other 12 countries have also been designated as PWL countries, and 34 countries, including Canada, Italia, and Israel, are listed in the WL category.

“We’ve expressed our regret to the U.S. administration that our society has not fully reflected the Korean government’s efforts to guarantee copyrights,” stated the MFAT.

Ji-Wan Cha cha@donga.com