Thailand awaits good news on Priority Watch List removal

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BANGKOK, Feb 18 – It is highly possible that the United States will soon upgrade Thailand from the Priority Watch List (PWL) to Watch List (WL) after an initial positive response to the kingdom’s handling of intellectual property piracy and violations, a senior official said.

Patchima Tanasanti, director general of the Intellectual Property (IP) Department, said a Thai delegation visited the US last week to submit data and information on Thailand’s suppression of violations including successive campaigns on the purchase of legal IP products and the House of Representatives’ approval of laws to impose harsher punishment against IP violators.

The US public and private sectors were satisfied with Thailand’s measures on IP violations and initially expressed their willingness to upgrade the country from PWL to WL in its April meeting, she said.

Ms Patchima said Thailand has been on the Priority Watch List for four to five years, even as the government and private sector have successfully collaborated in cracking down on IP violations and piracy.

Each year the Office of the US Trade Representative identifies countries which do not provide “adequate and effective” protection of intellectual property rights, and undertakes annual surveys of foreign countries’ intellectual property laws and policies.