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NZ Removed From US Tradewatch List

Media Statement

7 May 2003
New Zealand's intellectual property rights

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton and Associate Commerce Minister Judith Tizard today welcomed the removal of New Zealand from the US Trade Representative's annual "Special 301" Watch List.

Mr Sutton and Ms Tizard said the removal was pleasing because New Zealand's intellectual property regulatory regime has been fully compliant with our international obligations.

"Wwe are committed to maintaining an intellectual property regime which protects right holders and fosters innovation. Growing New Zealand's innovative capacity is a priority for the government and a sound IP regime is essential for that."

The USTR "Special 301" report comments on the US view of the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property protection around the world. New Zealand was placed on the Special 301 Watch List in 2002 on the grounds that New Zealand had not introduced legislation to ban parallel importing of copyright products.

Following a review of the impact of parallel importing on the creative industries, legislation was introduced in December 2002 to ban the parallel importation of film products (films, DVDs and video CDs) for a period of nine months from first release. In addition, the government will continue to monitor the impact of parallel importing on other creative industries over the next three years. The Copyright (Parallel Importation of Film and Onus of Proof) Amendment Bill also shifts the onus of proof to the defendant in civil proceedings concerning the alleged importation of infringing copyright works, in relation to goods that are particularly susceptible to piracy (namely film, computer programs and sound recordings).

The USTR press release and the full text of the report is available at http://www.ustr.gov/


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