Jurin orders agencies to ramp up efforts to tackle IP violations
Commerce minister Jurin Laksanawisit has ordered the Intellectual Property Department to work closely with government and private agencies to suppress intellectual property violations and upgrade existing laws as the government aims to remove Thailand from the US Trade Representative's (USTR) watch list (WL) as soon as possible.
According to Mr Jurin, the department has been instructed to work with US-related agencies to build an IP Work Plan to remove Thailand from the USTR's WL and all US lists in the future as well as pursue talks with its US counterparts under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) to tackle IP issues.
On April 30, the USTR announced in its annual Special 301 Report that it would keep Thailand on its trade WL.
The US government admires the Thai government's and Commerce Ministry's progress in preventing IP infringement, development of IP protection, and crackdowns on violations in both the offline and online markets.
The report said Thailand continues to make progress and is addressing concerns raised as part of the bilateral US-Thailand Tifa.
Thailand has seized counterfeit and pirated goods and increased efforts to combat the sale of counterfeit goods online as well as publishing enforcement statistics online.
Thailand has also increased efforts against online piracy, particularly through enhanced intra-agency coordination though concerns remain, said the report.
The report also found that counterfeit and pirated goods are still readily available, both in physical markets and online. Therefore, the US has urged Thailand to continue improving enforcement measures.
The US has also urged Thailand to ensure that amendments to its Copyright Act address concerns expressed by the US and foreign governments and stakeholders, including overly broad technological protection measure exceptions, procedural obstacles to enforcement against unauthorised camcording, and unauthorised collective management organisations.
"The outcome of the latest annual review on Thailand's status was satisfactory. This is to give credit to the collaboration between relevant agencies both in the central and other regions that have worked hard for a year," said Mr Jurin. "Thailand is committed to developing its intellectual property system and exiting the WL as soon as possible."
However, Mr Jurin said it is hard to set a timeframe as removal also relies on the political scenario in the US.
- Jurin Laksanawisit