The United States kept Lebanon on the watch list for intellectual property (IP) protection in 2014. This measure was taken by the US trade representative. “Lebanon was promoted a step forward in this ranking,” said a source at the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET).
There are still many gaps in IP in the local market and several legislative and executive reforms must be conducted, according to MoET.
MoET said that there are a number of relevant draft laws that should be voted on by Parliament, including those pertaining to accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Several measures should also be taken to implement existing laws.
Major reforms should be adopted in laws related to copyrights. More efforts should be made to protect online intellectual property rights according to the US representatives. MoET said that most of the infringements are occurring in the field of music and film production, as well as in trademarks. Pirated books have been restricted to a certain extent, especially in universities.
US trade representatives encouraged the government to sign intellectual property agreements such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
The US will cooperate with the government to resolve issues related to intellectual property. In the meantime, MoET is conducting awareness campaigns to encourage right holders to preserve their rights.
Nine other countries were put on the watch list, including Egypt, Turkey, and Kuwait.