Opinions on Trademark Protection:

Section 211, The World Trade Organization & Various Trade Practices

Washington, DC -- According to an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted over the weekend and released today, 4 in 5 (79%) of U.S. adults believe it is extremely or very important that the U.S. abides by the same World Trade Organization rules that the U.S. insists other countries abide by.

Moreover, 2 in 3 (68%) Americans say they have at least some concern that the U.S. is blocking protection of the Havana Club rum trademark in the U.S., while at the same time demanding trademark protection for U.S. companies in all countries around the world. Havana Club rum is an embargoed Cuban product that is sold in 80 countries worldwide, but is ineligible for trademark protection in the U.S due to a law recently passed by Congress, known as Section 211. The results also show that a majority of Americans (57%) oppose Section 211. Without trademark protection, other companies could produce and sell counterfeit Havana Club rum in the U.S.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted between August 3 and August 5, 2001. The poll was sponsored by Washington, DC firm Dittus Communications. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,000 U.S. adults. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within 177 3. percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult U.S. population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to the most recent Census data.

Support for making sure trademarks for U.S. companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike or Microsoft are respected around the world and fake products are not sold under the trademark name in other countries is high, with 72% of Americans saying it is extremely or very important. Also, 65% of Americans believe that it is extremely or very important that companies from other countries that sell products in the U.S. are not getting special treatment from their governments or other unfair competitive advantages over U.S. companies.

Overall, Americans are split on whether or not the U.S. benefits more than it gives up (48%) rather than to say it gives up more than it benefits (43%) when the World Trade Organization enforces trademarks around the world.

"Although opinion is divided on the benefits of World Trade Organization policies overall, there is no question about opposition to Section 211 and an insistence that U.S. policies put trademark protection first on this issue. That's why, when they hear about the issues raised by section 211, Americans have serious reservations about policy," according to Thomas Riehle, President of U.S. Public Affairs at Ipsos-Reid.

For detailed results and further analysis, please download the pdf file.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Thom Riehle President & COO U.S. Public Affairs Ipsos-Reid (202) 463-7300

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