WASHINGTON -- Korea, Indonesia and Pakistan were cited for piracy of U.S. textile designs in an annual report issued by the U.S. on intellectual property violations by its trading partners.
Korea was one of six trading partners put on a priority watch list; one of the reasons was its "continued piracy of U.S. textile designs," said the report issued Monday by U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor.
While Korea was praised for making "great strides in the past year in protecting intellectual property rights," the report said that its customs regulations aren't strong enough to prevent the export of infringing goods and that Korea trade secrets law does not protect proprietary information.
The trade practices of countries included on the priority watch list are subject to investigation by the U.S., but the extent of the probes vary by country according to the violations.
Indonesia and Pakistan were among 18 nations on the watch list. In contrast to the priority watch list, the watch list tallies countries that the administration monitors for progress in their intellectual property rights laws and for providing market access for U.S. intellectual property products.
The report said that in addition to other needed changes, Indonesia "should improve" enforcement of its copyright law.
"Infringement of textile designs is becoming a significant problem," the report continued.
Pakistan was included on the list, the report said, because of U.S. concern about copyright infringement as well as deficiencies in the 1992 copyright law, including lack of protection for textile designs.
"The level of fines for infringement is considered insufficient to deter infringement," said the report.
The intellectual property rights report is an annual snapshot by the USTR on the status of trade relations with foreign nations and is considered one way for the U.S. to signal its displeasure with countries that violate U.S. agreements or don't measure up to international trading norms.
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