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Remarks by AIT Director Stephen M. Young at IPR Protection Workshop "Meeting the Challenges of IPR Protection in Taiwan and Beyond"

OT0702E | Date: 2007-02-05

Minister Shi, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen -- Good Morning.

I am happy to see so many of you here to join us in "Meeting the Challenges of IPR Protection in Taiwan and Beyond."  It's great to see participation and support from senior officials such as Minister Shi, Director Liu, Director Lin, and Director General Tsai as well as representatives from private companies and academia.  We all have strong interest and important work in strengthening IPR protection in Taiwan.

I'd also like to recognize the U.S. Department of Justice officials that have joined us today as well as participants from Thailand -- Judge Vichai and Deputy Director General Pongsakon -- that have come to share their experiences.   I am sure that they will learn something from their Taiwan hosts as well.

If I may, I would like to speak directly to the judges and prosecutors who are here today.  The focus of this workshop is on what I call the "front line" of our battle for IPR Protection - that is the court system, and those who make it work.  You really are on the front line.  Your decisions define the parameters of the law.   And you turn words on paper into action.

It is a real challenge these days to work as a prosecutor or a judge handling IPR cases and it will only get harder.  Not only do you need to deal with technology that is changing our lives more rapidly than anyone could have imagined, but you are also dealing with new laws and a new court system.

The U.S. applauds Taiwan's efforts to establish a new IP Court, and we wish you well.  We also hope that judges and prosecutors in the district courts will have the resources and training they need to deal with the IPR cases that they will continue to handle.  The Legislative Yuan is also reviewing legislation to regulate Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing and in the future will consider legislation on Internet Service Provider (ISP) liability.  As I said, it must not be easy to be a judge or a prosecutor.

Are IPR cases important?   Of course you know the answer is yes.  This is particularly the case for Taiwan.  As Taiwan's economy continues to evolve into one of the most technologically advanced in the world; as Taiwan's scientists, writers, and inventors produce an ever increasing variety of products; Taiwan's economic future depends on it.

Strong IPR protection and enforcement means more choices for consumers.  It means patients can take medicine with the confidence that it is not counterfeit.  It means more opportunities for Taiwan businesses.  And it means more good jobs for Taiwan's very able workforce.  Yes, defending IPR is well worth the trouble and I thank you all for your efforts.

In conclusion let me also take a moment to thank the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office for being an excellent partner in our U.S. - Taiwan intellectual property dialogue.  We work closely with them on a variety of IPR-related issues.  These issues are central to our bilateral economic relationship.  Let me also thank the Judicial Yuan and the Ministry of Justice for their hard work on IPR and for their help in putting on this workshop.

And of course I especially want to thank the National Chengchi University Graduate Institute of Intellectual Property and the Licensing Executive Society for organizing this two-day workshop.

This workshop represents the culmination of discussions on IPR best practices that have been facilitated by AIT's Public Affairs Section with our exchange program alumni.  These individuals - some of Taiwan's best and brightest - have participated in AIT-sponsored programs in the United States on IPR and judicial issues.  This is a very impressive group, and we know that they will make major contributions to Taiwan's judicial system.  Thanks for your strong support. We are grateful for such an intimate level of interaction to help support the development of IPR laws and regulation in Taiwan.

We sincerely respect the hard work, dedication and cooperation that Taiwan's judiciary, law enforcement, and private sector that continue to improve Taiwan's IPR regime. While we certainly understand the challenges that lie ahead, we also understand the importance of your work - case by case. We support your continued efforts and look forward to a productive partnership between the U.S. and Taiwan on IPR issues.

Thank you very much.

Director's Speeches