The United States Trade Representative Office recently announced it has removed the Philippines from its "out-of-cycle" review of markets prone to intellectual property breaches.
The U.S. move may have come as a result of efforts made by the Philippines government to crack down on piracy of intellectual property. The Philippine Intellectual Property Office suggested the status change may be connected with a recent law designed to fight film piracy.
Despite the improvement, the USTR claimed the Philippines' efforts to enforce intellectual property rights remain insufficient, in both the virtual and the physical markets.
Striking a balance between recognizing improvement and pushing for greater enforcement, the USTR rejected proposals to shift the Philippines from its Ordinary Watch List for intellectual property violations to its Priority Watch List.
According to the USTR's 2010 report, the United States "recognizes that in 2010 the Philippines took the important step of enacting legislation to address unauthorized camcording of motion pictures in theaters."
Philippines IPO director general Ricardo Blancaflor expressed satisfaction with the U.S. decision. "We are only one step away from being removed completely," he said.