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U.S. Removes NZ From 301 Watch List

Office of Public Affairs
U.S. Embassy, Wellington



Wellington, May 2, 2000 - The United States has removed New Zealand from its Special 301 Watch List in recognition of New Zealand's commitment to strengthen its copyright and trademark laws and to limit parallel imports of newly released copyrighted materials.

New Zealand was placed on the Watch List in April of last year after the New Zealand Government passed an amendment to the Copyright Act abolishing the exclusive importation right for copyright owners. The law was of serious concern because it eroded the level of copyright protection available to right holders in New Zealand and made it more difficult to combat pirated goods.

In August 1999, the New Zealand Government introduced legislation to improve the copyright and trademark regime. In addition, the Labor-Alliance Government pledged to restrict parallel imports of newly released copyrighted materials.

"The United States appreciates the commitment New Zealand has made to strengthen its copyright and trademark laws and removal from the Watch List recognizes that commitment," said U.S Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun.

"We look forward to working with New Zealand on developing and implementing a system to provide protection against parallel imports of newly-released copyrighted material.

"The extent to which the Government of New Zealand follows through on this issue will figure largely in the Special 301 review next year. We are committed to continuing to work closely with New Zealand to advance our mutual goals and to ensure concrete progress toward adequate and effective Intellectual Property Right protection."

In accordance with Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act, the U.S. Administration must conduct an annual review of the practices of its trading partners to determine if there is adequate and effective protection for U.S. intellectual property and to determine if fair market access is provided to products dependent on intellectual property. For more information on the Special 301 process, please visit the U.S. Trade Representative web-site - http://www.ustr.gov

U.S. Embassy, 29 Fitzherbert Tce, Wellington Tel: 04/472-2068

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