India, China among worst intellectual property right offenders, Pak does better
Washington: The United States Trade Representative have kept India, China and Russia in annual list of countries with worst record of intellectual property theft.
While India and China regularly feature in the list, vigorous IP-rights defender and Washington's close ally Switzerland is the latest addition.
Switzerland was added to the regular watch list because it has become an increasingly popular host country for copyright-infringing websites, belying its generally strong record on IP issues, USTR said.
Overall, the agency has 11 countries on the "Priority Watch List": Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
India stays on the highest priority watch list due to lack of measurable improvements to its intellectual property legal framework, despite stepped up enforcement efforts, USTR said.
But Pakistan was upgraded to the regular watch list after it created specialized intellectual property courts, established a timeline for improving its legal framework and improved border security.
The annual list, released by the US Trade Representative's Office, carries no threat of sanctions, but aims to shame governments into cracking down on piracy and counterfeiting and updating their copyright laws.
"Intellectual property is a critical source of economic growth and high-quality jobs for the United States, and it is more important than ever to prevent foreign governments and competitors from ripping off United States innovators who are trying to support high-paying jobs by exporting their goods and services to consumers around the world," US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.
The trade agency said that the value added of US-held intellectual property was approximately $5 trillion in 2010, contributing 34 percent to US gross domestic product that year and supporting 40 million jobs in IP-intensive industries.