2007 USTR 301 Report
Full text available
Thailand will be elevated to the Priority Watch List in 2007, reflecting a concern that the past year has been characterized by an overall deterioration in the protection and enforcement of IPR in Thailand. The United States appreciates that many Thai law enforcement officials continue to work, amid challenging circumstances, to conduct actions against infringing activity. However, these efforts appear not to have had a measurable effect on piracy and counterfeiting rates, which remain unacceptably high. The weak nature of Thailand’s legislation governing optical disc media constitutes a particular challenge in addressing the large scale of pirated disc production. Book piracy, cable and signal theft, and entertainment and business software piracy have likewise not been addressed in a meaningful way. Production and distribution of infringing copies of trademarked products, such as apparel and footwear, also remain widespread. With respect to all of these areas, insufficiently deterrent legal penalties contribute to ongoing infringement problems. In addition to these longstanding concerns with deficient IPR protection in Thailand, in late 2006 and early 2007, there were further indications of a weakening of respect for patents, as the Thai Government announced decisions to issue compulsory licenses for several patented pharmaceutical products. While the United States acknowledges a country’s ability to issue such licenses in accordance with WTO rules, the lack of transparency and due process exhibited in Thailand represents a serious concern. These actions have compounded previously expressed concerns such as delay in the granting of patents and weak protection against unfair commercial use for data generated to obtain marketing approval.