WTO Issues Panel Report in Dispute Brought Against China by the US Over Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

Mike Palmedo
October 16, 2008

The WTO has issued a panel report in China — Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, a dispute brought by the United States last year. News reports indicate that the panel report is a split decision:

  • The Panel rejected the US's argument that China's enforcement efforts against piracy were weakened by its high threshold for 'commercial scale' piracy, at which point penalties are more severe.
  • The Panel accepted the US's argument that China violates TRIPS copyright rules by not protecting copyrighted materials that have not been approved by state censors.
  • The panel also accepted the US's argument that China cannot reintroduce goods into the market that have been seized for trademark infringement, but have had the infringing marks removed.

The case may be appealed, and the panel report will remain anonymous while it is circulated to the countries and to other WTO Members. For more information on the case, see this story from Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest.


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