U.S., Japan Pledge To Defend Intellectual Property

The U.S. and Japan pledged March 30 to work together to defend intellectual property rights amid concern in both countries about piracy in rapidly growing China.

"This is a partnership between two countries that believe passionately in the power of innovation and ideas and copyrights and trademarks and patents will ensure that we make the world safer place for consumers, a healthier place for consumers," U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez Gutierrez said.

The cooperation would include exchanging information and sharing resources to address privacy concerns, "especially in third countries," a joint statement said. Although the joint statement did not refer directly to China, the meeting between the ministers centered on how to help China enforce laws against violations of intellectual property rights, a Japanese official said.

Japanese trade minister Toshihiro Nikai proposed trilateral talks with China on intellectual property, but Gutierrez said the idea was premature.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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