The Office of the United States Trade Representative

U.S. Government Praises Philippines for Improved IPR Enforcement
Ranking on Annual Report Lowered 02/15/2006

WASHINGTON – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has made a determination to lower the Philippines from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List under the Special 301 Review, which examines in detail the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. 

This determination is the result of an “Out-of-Cycle Review” (OCR) on the Philippines announced in the April 2005 Special 301 Report.  The OCR concluded that throughout 2005, the Philippines bolstered implementation of its special legislation that was passed to stop illegal production of pirated optical discs such as CDs and DVDs by controlling the licensing of and conducting raids against pirate optical disc production facilities.  In addition, Philippine authorities conducted numerous raids on retail stores selling pirated and counterfeit goods.  The Philippine government also measurably improved coordination of government agencies responsible for IPR enforcement. 

However, the OCR also concluded that sustained effort and continued progress on key IPR issues will be essential to avoid a future return to the Priority Watch List.  The United States will be monitoring closely efforts by the Philippines government to further improve its IPR enforcement regime. 


Pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (enacted in 1994), under Special 301 provisions, USTR must identify those countries that deny adequate and effective protection for IPR or deny fair and equitable market access for persons that rely on intellectual property protection.  Countries that have the most onerous or egregious acts, policies, or practices and whose acts, policies, or practices have the greatest adverse impact (actual or potential) on relevant U.S. products must be designated as “Priority Foreign Countries.”

USTR created a “Priority Watch List” and a “Watch List” under the Special 301 provisions.   Placement of a trading partner on the Priority Watch List or the Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property.  Countries placed on the Priority Watch List are the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas.