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November 22, 1993

US INVESTIGATES POLAND’s COPYRIGHT PROTECTION

By CBR Staff Writer

The Office of the US Trade Representative is to review measures to protect intellectual property in Poland under Generalised System of Preference provisions. The review, which will run alongside an existing investigation being undertaken under the Special 301 process, could result in the removal of the duty-free status currently accorded to some Polish exports to the US. The review will encompass patent and trade mark as well as copyright protection. Tightened protection for software vendors has been on the Polish legislative agenda for some time, but the presentation of a new draft law to parliament was held up by the fall of the Suchoka adminimistration and the subsequent elections, and without external pressure, may not prove a priority for the SLD party of former communists. Protection is currently provided by non-software specific legislation, such as that covering the copyright of pictures which it is assumed would apply to the computer graphics in software packages – but has yet to be fully tested in the Polish courts. Aside from Poland, Cyprus, Egypt, El Salvador and Turkey are also to face a review under the Generalised System of Preference provisions.

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