STOPfakes News

USITC Launches 337Info

September 30, 2014

For more information on the USITC, start here.

PRESS RELEASE:

USITC INTRODUCES 337Info - A NEW WAY TO RESEARCH AND TRACK SECTION 337 INVESTIGATIONS

337Info Unites Multiple Data Sources, Provides Fast and Easy Access to Information

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today launched a new web-based tool that will help users find information about and track unfair import investigations brought under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (section 337 investigations).

337Info is an information retrieval system that contains data about USITC section 337 investigations, including:

  • the unfair act(s) alleged (patent, trademark, or copyright infringement; misappropriation of trade secrets; etc.)

  • the parties involved (current and historical)

  • the Administrative Law Judge(s) (ALJ(s)) and USITC staff assigned (current and historical)

  • the product(s) involved

  • current investigation status and key dates (hearing dates, target dates, etc.)

  • key dates in the procedural history (e.g., date of institution)

  • disposition of the investigation as a whole and by respondent

  • remedial order(s) issued

  • any appeals and/or ancillary proceedings

337Info brings together information that was previously spread across the USITC website and presents it in a single, user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interface. It features a robust search capability that enables users to identify investigations of interest; track ongoing investigations, appeals, and ancillary proceedings from filing to disposition; and conduct research with ease.

337Info currently includes information about investigations instituted or otherwise initiated on or after October 1, 2008. These investigations include violation-phase, enforcement, bond forfeiture, and modification proceedings, as well as investigations following a remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The data will generally be updated within three business days of a Commission or ALJ action.

337Info is not a document repository. To view official documents filed in USITC investigations, users may use the USITC Electronic Document Information System (EDIS).

337Info will not replace current procedures related to the release of information on target dates. ALJ initial determinations will continue to be posted in the Press Room section of the USITC website on the date of release. Commission decisions on whether to review ALJ initialdeterminations and Commission final determinations will continue to be posted in the Federal Register section of the USITC website at 5 p.m. on the date of release.

Users are encouraged to visit the 337Info site and explore its features. An online tutorial and Frequently Asked Questions document will help users become familiar with the system and how to use it. The USITC also anticipates offering limited training sessions in the near future. Information will be announced when such sessions are scheduled.

The USITC, an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency, adjudicates complaints brought under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. Section 337 declares the infringement of certain statutory intellectual property rights and other forms of unfair competition in import trade to be unlawful practices. Most section 337 investigations involve allegations of patent or registered trademark infringement. Other forms of unfair competition, such as misappropriation of trade secrets, trade dress infringement, passing off, false advertising, and false designation of origin, may also be asserted.

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USPTO Releases Two New Online Trademark Resources

September 29, 2014

The USPTO is making available two new trademark resources online:
(1) the Trademark Litigation Online Toolkit (www.uspto.gov/trademarks/toolkit_home.jsp), answering common questions about trademark litigation, and 
(2) the TEAS (Trademark Electronic Application System) "Nuts and Bolts" video series (www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/TEAS_Nuts_and_Bolts.jsp), how-to videos providing information about each page of the TEAS initial application form.

Comment Period for Special 301 Notorious Markets Review Now Open Until October 24, 2014

September 26, 2014

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requests written comments from the public identifying Internet and physical markets based outside the United States that should be included in the 2014 Notorious Markets List. The Notorious Markets List (List) identifies online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. The Federal Register Notice, available at https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-22904, provides background, requirements for comments, and submission instructions. Commenters are encouraged to use www.regulations.gov to file their submissions. Comments may be viewed free of charge by visiting www.regulations.gov and entering Docket Number USTR-2014-0017 in the “Search” field on the home page. The deadline for interested parties to submit written comments is 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on October 24, 2014. Interested parties who wish to provide rebuttal or other information to be considered during the review may do so through this docket until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on October 31, 2014.

Take me to the docket

Federal Register Notice

Notorious Markets Reports from previous years

USPTO Hosts First-Inventor-to-File Road Show Sept-Oct 2014

September 16, 2014

The USPTO is hosting seven roadshows across the country during September-October 2014 to increase the understanding of the First Inventor to File (FITF) provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA). USPTO subject matter experts will help patent applicants and other stakeholders understand the FITF provisions and related updates since the implementation of the AIA. For the full agenda, roadshow calendar, and webcast information visit: http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/roadshow.jsp

First-Inventor-to-File Roadshows

09/16/2014  Concord, NH
09/18/2014 Madison, WI
09/23/2014 Alexandria, VA
09/30/2014 Dallas, TX
10/02/2014 Denver, CO
10/07/2014 Silicon Valley, CA
10/09/2014 Atlanta, GA

The roadshow events are free and open to the public; pre-registration is not required but may be requested by the host organization. All seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. CLE credit is not available for any event. At the conclusion of the 2014 AIA FITF Fall Roadshow, copies of written materials and a video of the event will be posted here.

 

For inquiries, please contact:

U.S.-EU Transatlantic Working Group discusses Intellectual Property Rights

July 18, 2014

On 17 and 18 July, the EU and the U.S. convened a session of the Transatlantic Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group in Brussels to discuss cooperation in the IPR field relevant for both IP rights holders and users. The group is composed of officials representing lead agencies and services from both Europe and the U.S. and was established in 2005. Read a full press release here.

IPR Center Director Testifies on Strengthening Trade Enforcement

July 16, 2014

On July 16, Lev Kubiak, Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s and the IPR Center’s work to combat trade fraud, including intellectual property rights violations.  “IP violations and trade fraud pose significant threats to the U.S. economy and the health and safety of the American public,” said Kubiak.  The IPR Center was created to share information and promote a coordinated U.S. government response to IPR enforcement.  See the full testimony here and the full hearing here.  

INTERPOL Launches "Turn Back Crime" Campaign

June 5, 2014

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and INTERPOL Washington, the United States National Central Bureau, are announcing the launch of “Turn Back Crime”, INTERPOL’s global campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of organized crime and its impact on everyday life. Using a variety of media channels that include video, the Internet and social networks, the campaign provides information on how to stay safe and encourages private businesses, government agencies, and the general public to play an active role in the fight against organized criminal activity.

While many people are aware that criminal networks are behind the illicit trafficking of drugs, firearms, and even persons, they are often unaware of these networks’ ties to other, seemingly unrelated offenses such as the counterfeiting of commercial goods, cybercrime, fraud, child exploitation, and corruption in sport. Consequently, they are increasingly vulnerable to the threats being posed to their health by poor-quality, potentially life-threatening counterfeit medicines; to their financial security, from the theft of their personal data; and to their children’s safety, through techniques such as online grooming.

By creating a better understanding of these threats, Turn Back Crime empowers individuals to make informed choices that can not only increase their personal safety, but help deny illicit proceeds to criminal enterprises the world over – proceeds that in some instances support terrorist activity. The campaign is also reaching out to businesses and policy makers in a bid to form a united front against contemporary crime challenges, and to support the ongoing efforts of the global law enforcement community.

“For many of us, crime is quite often viewed in local terms because it is in our communities that we generally feel the impact of most criminal activity,” said Director Shawn Bray of INTERPOL Washington.  “Turn Back Crime is an innovative global campaign to increase our national awareness and reduce crime by empowering our citizens and helping them understand that even our day-to-day decisions, especially as consumers, can have a profound international impact and may even help combat transnational organized crime,” added Director Bray.

The initial topic for the campaign is that of illicit trade and the counterfeiting of commercial goods. Future topics will cover other crime areas such as cybercrime and border management. 

Turn Back Crime is supported by a dedicated website (www.turnbackcrime.com) that serves as the public face of this global initiative. It provides campaign-themed videos and news, and a communications platform on which tips, activities, and success stories from INTERPOL’s 190 member countries can be shared. In addition, the campaign can be followed on social media outlets that include Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/turnbackcrime); Twitter (https://twitter.com/TurnBackCrime) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/turnbackcrime). Two campaign hashtags have been developed that will provide a searchable link: #TurnBackCrime and #TogetherWeCan.

 

USPTO Launches Glossary Pilot to Promote Patent Claim Clarity

June 2, 2014

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announces the launch of a new Glossary Pilot as part of a White House Executive Action designed to enhance claim clarity in the specification of software-related patent applications.

The pilot runs for six months from the start date of June 2, 2014.

Pilot participation requires an applicant to include a glossary section in the patent application specification to define terms used in the patent claim. Applications accepted into the pilot will get expedited processing, be placed on an examiner’s special docket prior to the first office action, and have special status up to issuance of a first office action.

Learn more about the Glossary Pilot at: www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/glossary_initiative.jsp.

USTR Releases 2014 Special 301 Report

April 30, 2014

On April 30, 2014, 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 and press release can be found on the USTR website by clicking here.

USTR Press Release:  The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its annual “Special 301” Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Significant elements of the 2014 Special 301 Report include the following:

  • USTR highlights growing concerns with respect to the environment for IPR protection and enforcement in India and other markets. 
  • The Report expresses ongoing, serious concerns about the protection and enforcement of trade secrets with respect to China, and emerging concerns in other markets.
  • USTR removes Italy and the Philippines from the Watch List in recognition of their IPR-related accomplishments, and as an indication of support for their commitment to continued progress.
  • The Report highlights music licensing and cable broadcasting concerns throughout the Caribbean that adversely affect U.S. copyright holders, including creators of original pay television programming, songwriters, and other independent artists.
  • USTR announces that it will conduct Out-of-Cycle reviews to promote engagement and progress on IPR challenges identified in this year’s reviews of India, Kuwait, Paraguay and Spain.

“The United States is an innovation economy.  We are the global leader in research and development.  We have given rise to some of the most creative, inventive and entrepreneurial businesses in the world, contributing significantly to advances in global health, the development of the digital economy and the education and entertainment of billions of people worldwide.  More than 30 million Americans owe their jobs directly to these and other innovative industries.  USTR is fully committed to unlocking opportunity for those Americans to share their inventions and creations with people all over the world without their work being infringed or misappropriated,” said Ambassador Michael Froman. 

“Release of the 2014 Special 301 Report marks 25 years since USTR published the first Special 301 ‘Fact Sheet.’  In that time, we have achieved dramatic changes in the international intellectual property landscape.  The Obama Administration is committed to meaningful and sustained engagement with trading partners -- from China to India to Canada -- with the goal of resolving intellectual property-related concerns so that Americans and American firms can compete on a level playing field in those markets.”

“I would like to congratulate the Governments of Italy and the Philippines on their removal from the Watch List.  Both were named in the first Special 301 Fact Sheet and in many annual reports since, but today we acknowledge their accomplishments and encourage them to continue their progress,” Ambassador Froman concluded.  “Likewise, we congratulate Israel on its removal from the Watch List earlier this year.”

BACKGROUND  

The “Special 301” Report is an annual review of the global state of IPR protection and enforcement.  USTR conducts this review 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 82 trading partners for this year’s Special 301 Report, and placed 37 of them on the Priority Watch List or Watch List.   

In this year’s report, 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 intellectual property protection.  Ten countries — Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, 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:  Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.   

USTR also announces that it will launch several Out-of-Cycle Reviews to enhance engagement with trading partners and encourage progress on IPR issues of concern.  USTR will conduct OCRs of Priority Watch List country India and Watch List countries Kuwait and Paraguay.  Details appear in Section II of the Report.  Although Spain is not listed in the Report, USTR announces the intention to continue an OCR, which was initiated in 2013, to monitor anticipated improvements in Spain’s enforcement regime.  USTR may conduct additional OCRs of other trading partners as circumstances warrant, or as requested by the trading partner. 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

USTR continued its enhanced approach to public engagement activities in this year’s Special 301 process.  USTR requested written submissions from the public through a notice published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2014.  In addition, on February 24, 2014, USTR conducted a public hearing that invited interested persons to testify before the interagency Special 301 subcommittee about issues relevant to the review.  The hearing featured testimony from witnesses representing foreign governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations.  For the first time, USTR recorded the testimony at the Special 301 hearing, and also offered a two-week post-hearing comment period during which hearing participants and interested parties could submit additional information in support of, or in response to, hearing testimony.  The 2014 Federal Register notice — and post-hearing comment period — drew submissions from over 100 interested parties, including 21 trading partners.  The submissions that USTR received are available to the public online at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2013-0040.  The public can access both the video and transcript of the hearing at www.ustr.gov

 

U.S. Removes Philippines from the Special 301 Watch List

April 28, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it has removed the Philippines from the Special 301 Watch List. The Philippines has appeared on the Watch List or Priority Watch List continuously since 1994, and was first listed in 1989.  In recent years, the government has enacted a series of significant legislative and regulatory reforms to enhance the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Philippines.  Philippine authorities have also made laudable civil and administrative enforcement gains.  Although significant challenges remain, the commitment of Philippine authorities and the results achieved merit this change in status.  The United States will continue to engage with the Philippines to address unresolved and future challenges.  

Background: 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 (1994), under the Special 301 provisions, USTR must identify those countries that deny adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access for persons that rely on intellectual property protection.

USTR has created a "Priority Watch List" and "Watch List" under the Special 301 provisions. A trading partner’s placement on the Priority Watch List or Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country or economy with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property. Trading partners on the Priority Watch List become the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas.

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/press-releases/2014/April/US-R...

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