The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual “Special 301” Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). The Report can be found on the USTR website.
The Special 301 Report is an annual review of the global state of IPR protection and enforcement, which USTR conducts pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.
USTR reviewed 77 trading partners for this year’s Special 301 Report, and placed 40 countries on the Priority Watch List, Watch List, or the Section 306 monitoring list.
Trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns regarding insufficient IPR protection or enforcement, or otherwise limited market access for persons relying on IPR protection. Thirteen countries –Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela – are on the Priority Watch List. These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.
Twenty-seven trading partners are on the Watch List, also meriting bilateral attention to address underlying IPR problems: Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative said that:
This year’s Special 301 Report is more significant than ever in light of recent US Government data showing that IP intensive industries support as many as 40 million American jobs and up to 60% of US exports. When trading partners don’t protect IPR, they threaten those critical jobs and exports. I am pleased to congratulate the Governments of SPain and Malaysia on the progress that resulted in their removal from the Special 301 Lists.
It is not surprising that Malaysia was taken off the list. We have been tracking their efforts to improve their IPR and they are surely accomplishing a lot. You can read about their efforts here and here.
From your legal fashionista,