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Press Release

Statement by Joseph S. Papovich, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Services, Investment and Intellectual Property

PR0252E | Date: 2002-10-11

We are in Taipei to discuss ways in which Taiwan can improve intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in a number of areas. Taiwan is considered one of the largest producers and exporters of pirated CD’s, DVD’s and other optical disks in Asia, and is perhaps one of the largest producers of such pirated disks in the world. Taiwan also has a growing problem with Internet piracy. Because we consider this situation extremely serious and one of our top trade issues with Taiwan, we met with officials of the Taiwan Government that have responsibility for IPR.

We hope that our discussions will lead to real progress toward lowering the high-level of IP piracy and counterfeiting in Taiwan. Specifically, we discussed the importance of Taiwan revising certain of its laws to conform with international IP obligations, continuing to increase its enforcement efforts by shutting down and seizing the equipment from optical media plants and owners found to be pirating, stepping up its level of prosecutions against IP violators, and working to shorten delays in this process. We believe that such actions will address not only our concerns, but also promote Taiwan’s economic growth by strengthening protections for its high-technology and services industries.

In addition to IPR, a team led by USTR discussed other important trade issues earlier this week. We hope that real progress will also be made on these issues, which include agriculture, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals.