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Hungary removed from US intellectual property rights protection watch list

Hungary has been removed from a “watch list” for protection of intellectual property rights compiled by United States trade officials, the Office of the US Trade Representative said on Friday.

Hungary was removed from the blacklist, together with the Czech Republic and Hungary.

“Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland have taken significant steps to clamp down on piracy and counterfeiting and will be removed from the Watch List,” said US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, presenting his office's annual “Special 301” Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of US trading partners' protection of intellectual property rights.

“Hungary has taken proactive steps to address the growing threat of Internet piracy, and its customs and police officials have developed their ability to effectively identify infringing products. Hungary has taken effective measures to protect IPR, including numerous public awareness-raising campaigns, and training and educational seminars for police, prosecutors, and judges,” the office said. “The United States will continue to monitor Hungary’s progress to ensure that IPR protection and enforcement improvements are ongoing,” it added.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) had recommended that Hungary remain on the Watch List in 2010.

“The police, who have generally done a good job supporting Internet piracy investigations, are still under-resourced and under equipped to tackle this grave problem. Onerous requirements to prove ownership of rights and requests for expert opinions on all goods seized continue to strain limited resources of both the government and the rights holders. In general, prosecutors and judges are still reluctant to treat copyright infringements as serious crimes, and those rare instances in which criminal charges are brought, the sentences issued are not deterrent,” the IIPA said in its recommendation. (MTI-Econews)