Posted Monday 18th of May 2015 .

The US Trade Representative (USTR) kept Lebanon on the Watch List in his Annual Special 301 Report for 2015 due to its ineffective measures in protecting intellectual property rights including copyright. The USTR had placed Lebanon on the Watch List in 1999 and then lowered its status to the Watch List Priority in 2001 where it remained until 2007 to be raised again to the Watch List in 2008. Regionally, Egypt and Turkey are also on the Watch List while Algeria and Kuwait remain on the Watch list Priority for 2015. One of the USTR’s main concerns is the manufacture, sale and distribution of counterfeit medicines in Lebanon. He urged Lebanon to reform its legislations relating to intellectual property protection such as the patent and copyright laws, he also called upon the Lebanese authorities to ratify several IP agreements that were approved by the cabinet including Paris and Berne Conventions, Nice and Madrid Agreements, he further encouraged the Lebanese authorities ratify and implement the Singapore and Patent Cooperation Treaties in addition to Madrid Protocol. He stressed on providing the relevant authorities with the resources necessary to carry out their duties in relation to the protection of IP rights including providing support to the Intellectual Property Office. He also highlighted the weakness of the Lebanese judicial system and asked for firmer punishments for IP violations. (www.lebanon24.com)

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