U.S. raises level of concern on Kuwait copyright laws

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman speaks at a press conference during the Trans Pacific Partnership meeting of trade representatives in Sydney October 27, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday moved Kuwait a notch higher in its list of countries to watch for potential breaches of U.S. patents, copyrights and other intellectual property (IP) rights.

The U.S. Trade Representative said Kuwait had failed to introduce a copyright law in line with international standards and to properly protect copyright and trademarks.

“The U.S. remains concerned about the lack of sustained enforcement action against trademark infringement and the lack of progress in passage of updates to Kuwait’s copyright legislation, which hamper the overall market environment for intellectual property-intensive industries,” USTR said in a statement.

Kuwait will join 10 countries, including India and China, on the “priority watch list,” one rung higher than its current status. Being on the watch list signals a higher level of scrutiny and diplomatic pressure to bring policies into line.

Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Bernadette Baum