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Jordan Seeks Entry Into WTO

August 18, 1999

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Parliament enacted a law Wednesday for the protection of intellectual property rights, a prerequisite for Jordan’s membership in the World Trade Organization.

The law, which was endorsed by the 80-member Chamber of Deputies, comes as the state seeks increased foreign investment in a country battered by a deep recession and saddled by $7 billion in foreign debts.

The intellectual property rights law will take effect once it is endorsed by King Abdullah II. Abdullah is expected to swiftly sign the law.

The king summoned Parliament for a special summer session last week to specifically endorse the law and 10 other economy-related bills seen as indispensable to Jordan’s quest for economic openness and reforms.

The government has said that in order to join the World Trade Organization, countries must have laws on intellectual property rights and registration of trademarks. Parliament expects to pass a trademark law on Sunday.

The intellectual property rights law is likely to result in a considerable number of lawsuits.

Many state-run supermarkets sell cheap imitations of U.S. and European products, including electrical appliances. Pirated movies and music tapes are also widely sold.

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