USTR IP watch list heavy on countries in Asia with China and India noted

Once again, more than half of the countries on the U.S. Trade Representative's Priority Watch List for insufficient intellectual-property protection are in Asia. Four other Asia countries also were named to the Watch List as being of lesser concern.

China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia and Thailand are 7 of the 13 nations the USTR said it has "the most significant concerns" about in 2015. The four on the lesser list of 24 countries are Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Vietnam.

The two lists comprise USTR's annual "Special 301 Report," which highlights the most troublesome nations out of 72 it surveys each year. This year, more than half of those nations made one of the two lists.

For China, which by some accounts has become the world's second-largest pharmaceutical market, the report said that despite recent reform efforts and other positive actions, it continues the practice of placing conditions on market access.

As for India, the report praised its engagement on the IPR issue, but said it would remain on the priority list. However, the USTR said India's increased efforts to deal with its problems lead to an expectation it would make substantial progress in that area.

Indonesia, Russia and Turkey, the report said, still raise "serious and ongoing concerns" with regards to their IPR protection and enforcement.

The report cited the Philippines for its "whole-of-government" approach to IPR protections and praised its procedural reforms, cooperation and enforcement as well as seizures of counterfeit goods.

- here's the USTR release