STOPfakes News

USTR Publishes Annual Special 301 Report for U.S. Intellectual Property Rights Around the World

April 27, 2016

The "Special 301" Report reflects the outcome of a Congressionally-mandated annual review of the global state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement. The review reflects the Administration's resolve to encourage and maintain enabling environments for innovation, including effective IPR protection and enforcement, in markets worldwide, which benefit not only U.S. exporters but the domestic IP-intensive industries in those markets as well.

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/USTR-2016-Special-301-Report.pdf

OECD Study Highlights USD 451 Billion in Annual Trade in Counterfeit and Pirate Products Linked to Organized Crime and Terrorist Financing

April 14, 2016

The global trade in tangible counterfeit and pirate goods has risen in the last decade and now accounts for as much as USD 451 billion, according to a new study launched on April 18 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO). This illegal trade is equivalent to the GDP of Austria or the combined GDP of Ireland and the Czech Republic, or roughly equal to the revenues of one of America’s tech superstars.

Hong Kong, China and Turkey have been identified among the top three exporters of counterfeit products, while companies in OECD countries, notably the United States and EU countries (such as Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom), are the most affected.  The study concludes that “counterfeiting and piracy must be directly targeted as a threat to sustainable IP-based business models.” It links the revenues from the sale of counterfeit goods to organized crime networks and even to financing terrorist groups.

Follow the link below to the original report.

http://www.oecd.org/gov/risk/trade-in-counterfeit-and-pirated-goods-9789264252653-en.htm

STOPfakes Announces Road Show in Newark, NJ, on November 5!

October 19, 2015

STOPfakes announces our next Road Show in Newark, NJ, on Thursday, November 5!  For more information and registration details, please click here.

2015 Notorious Markets Federal Register Notice

September 10, 2015

The 2015 Notorious Markets Federal Register Notice has been published and is available here.

The deadline for interested party submissions is Monday, October 5th, 2015 and Monday, October 12th, 2015 for rebuttal submissions.

STOPfakes Announces Road Show in Rockville, MD

September 9, 2015

STOPfakes will be hosting a Road Show in Rockville, MD on September 21, 2015!  For more information and registration details, click here.

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U.S., China Unite to Fight Intellectual Property Theft

June 23, 2015
06/23/2015

WASHINGTON – Representatives from U.S. and Chinese customs agencies strengthened relations Tuesday by signing an agreement to work together to combat violators of intellectual property rights law.

Bruce Foucart, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), and Chen Xudong, director general of the General Administration of China Customs (GACC), signed an IPR addendum, which expanded on a memorandum of understanding the countries drafted in 2011 to collaborate on the enforcement of customs law. The original memorandum sought to enhance prosecutions and convictions and protect the economic, fiscal and commercial interests of each country.

“International collaborative law enforcement efforts are critical tools in preventing the importation and exportation of illegally trafficked goods that present threats to national security,” Foucart said. “Through this partnership with Chinese customs officials, we’ll be able to exchange ideas and implement best practices that could ultimately lead to the dismantling of transnational criminal organizations.”

This agreement will help both China and the U.S. combat IPR infringement by tracking IPR violations, sharing information and monitoring the illicit importation, exportation, or trafficking of counterfeit trademarked merchandise.

The two countries will share seizure information like commodity descriptions; quantities; values; dates of import/export; infringed trademarks; known manufacturers and shippers; container numbers; and other available information.

The U.S. and China are also set to conduct joint training operations targeting counterfeit products sent between the two countries that pose a health and safety risk. Representatives will increase the number of visits to each country’s ports; extend invitations to scheduled seminars related to IPR enforcement; and issue an IPR Center-developed curriculum and training guide for the GACC that focuses on how to successfully target intellectual property theft.

Although this addendum codifies the intent to conduct joint enforcement efforts going forward, the HSI offices in Beijing have successfully teamed with the GACC to conduct several outbound inspection operations targeting the illegal trafficking of counterfeit apparel and pharmaceuticals. These inspections have led to the seizure of more than 1,000 shipments, the arrests of two individuals and countless investigative leads.

Founded in 2000, the IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. The center uses the expertise of its 23 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/us-china-unite-fight-intellectual-prope...

 

The United States Signs Memorandum of Understanding on Intellectual Property Rights with the Government of Paraguay

June 18, 2015

 The United States and Paraguay signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on intellectual property rights (IPR) during today’s meeting of the United States-Paraguay Partnership Dialogue at the Department of State.  As part of the MOU, Paraguay has committed to take specific steps to improve its IPR protection and enforcement environment. Additionally, the MOU creates a bilateral partnership in which the United States intends to support Paraguay’s efforts to strengthen the legal protection and enforcement of IPR, including through the enhancement of creative and innovative industries, to promote Paraguay’s strategic priorities of growth and development. 

Deputy USTR Robert Holleyman said, “We are encouraged by the recent steps the Paraguayan government has taken to enhance administrative and border enforcement.  This MOU is an important step forward in the efforts to further improve IPR protection and enforcement in Paraguay.”

As a result of the MOU’s signing and the commitments Paraguay has assumed under the MOU to strengthen IPR protection and enforcement in Paraguay, USTR has removed Paraguay from the 2015 Special 301 Watch List pursuant to an Out-of-Cycle Review.
 

Background

In early 1998, the United States designated Paraguay a Priority Foreign Country and initiated a Section 301 investigation of Paraguay to determine whether Paraguay’s acts, policies, and practices with respect to the protection and enforcement of IPR were unreasonable, discriminatory, and constituted a burden or restriction on U.S. commerce.  The United States subsequently concluded an IPR MOU with Paraguay in November 1998 to resolve the underlying IPR issues and suspended the Section 301 investigation.  The MOU was extended several times, renegotiated in 2008, and then extended again in 2009 and 2011.  The last MOU expired in April 2012.  When efforts to negotiate a new MOU were unsuccessful, the United States then placed Paraguay on the Special 301 Watch List.  MOU negotiations with Paraguay were re-launched in March 2014 with the support of President Horacio Cartes. 

During the past 18 months, the Government of Paraguay, primarily through DINAPI and partner law enforcement agencies, has stepped up its efforts to strengthen IPR protection and enforcement.  While the United States applauds Paraguay’s recent actions and its commitments under the MOU, we also recognize the need for coordinated and sustained efforts to resolve longstanding issues in the protection and enforcement of IPR in Paraguay, and we will be monitoring Paraguay’s progress in this regard.

U.S. Copyright Office Commemorates 225th Anniversary of the First Federal Copyright Act

June 1, 2015

http://copyright.gov/newsnet/2015/583.html

Yesterday was the 225th anniversary of the nation’s first federal copyright law. It was enacted on May 31, 1790—less than two years after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It was signed into law by President George Washington and was one of the major accomplishments of the First Congress (along with legislation establishing the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the federal judiciary, among other institutions).

 

The law was called “An Act for the encouragement of learning,” and it protected “maps, Charts, and books.” The decision to protect maps and charts indicates that the First Congress wanted to encourage exploration of the American continent, including its lakes, rivers, and harbors. The decision to protect books confirms that the First Congress also valued the creation and distribution of authorship, both for informational and artistic purposes. These objectives are reflected in the works that were registered in the first month after enactment, which included an atlas, a spelling book, a collection of court decisions, and a “comedy in five acts.”

 

The first federal copyright law established many of the fundamental principles that are a vital part of the law today. It stated that copyright initially belongs to the author—the person who conceived and created the work— rather than the publisher or the state. At the same time, it recognized that an author’s rights are not perpetual but instead should be limited in time. And it recognized that authors are part of a larger economic ecosystem, and that they often transfer their rights to publishers, retailers, or other parties. The first federal copyright law established the principle that authors should have rights to control the use of their works, such as how they are printed, reprinted, published, and sold. It recognized that authors should have meaningful remedies to encourage others to respect these rights and to provide appropriate compensation when those rights are infringed. And it recognized the central role a registration system plays in documenting a public record of creativity, ownership, term, and other legal facts.

 

Much has changed in the past 225 years. The copyright law today protects not only books, maps, and charts, but also movies, sound recordings, software, and other works that contribute to the knowledge economy and global marketplace. But the fundamental principles reflected in the first federal copyright law continue to inspire the Copyright Office in its work today.

 

Read the original copy of the law.

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USPTO and KIPO Sign Memorandum of Cooperation for Collaborative Search Pilot

May 21, 2015

CONTACT: (Media Only) 
Patrick Ross or Paul Fucito
(571) 272-8400 orpatrick.ross@uspto.gov(link sends e-mail) orpaul.fucito@uspto.gov(link sends e-mail)

Washington - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on May 20, 2015, to begin a bilateral Collaboration Search Pilot (CSP) program. The MOC, signed at a bilateral meeting during the IP5 Heads Meeting in Suzhou, China, allows the two offices to share search information prior to a first office action. 

IP5 is the designation for the group of the five largest intellectual property offices in the world.  In addition to the USPTO and KIPO, members include the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO). 

The CSP is designed to provide patent applicants with the best prior art by combining the search expertise of both the USPTO and KIPO before examination of the patent application begins. This will enhance compact prosecution and improve patent quality. 

“The initiation of this Collaborative Search Pilot Program reflects the strong ties between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee. “Both of our offices are committed to improving the international patent system and this is yet another step in that direction.”

CSP processing in the USPTO will be based upon the Full First Action Interview (FAI) Pilot program (seewww.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/faipp_full.jsp) that separates the initial search from substantive examination. The FAI program is designed to give applicants the examiner’s search results, followed by an optional interview, prior to full examination of the claims. In order to ensure the coordination of the search efforts between the Offices, the application will be accelerated in both offices.

"This memorandum reconfirms and further strengthens our commitment to the growing cooperative relationship between our two offices," said Deputy Under Secretary Of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Russell Slifer.

The CSP with KIPO will allow for both offices to work in parallel and the USPTO will provide the two work products to the applicant upon receipt of the work from KIPO.  This will provide two independent views on the claims to help the applicant determine the next best steps in the prosecution of their application. 

The two offices will formally implement the CSP on Sept. 1. Further details of the program will be published in upcoming Federal Register notice and on the USPTO website.

 

IPR Center launches training to secure supply chains and combat counterfeit goods in the workplace

May 15, 2015
 

WASHINGTON – In an effort to bolster public education and private industry engagement regarding intellectual property crime, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) announced FREE training for acquisition professionals and the public on its website.

The training provides acquisition professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to combat the procurement of counterfeit goods in the workplace. The IPR Center’s new online training program for acquisition professionals will help companies secure their supply chains from counterfeit goods. By learning how to spot counterfeit goods and knowing what to do when these goods enter the supply chain, companies will better protect their consumers and ensure that the products they provide meet their standards. This acquisition training is a valuable tool for companies, state and local government officials, and anyone involved in the acquisition process. It can also serve to educate the public regarding the harms of purchasing counterfeit products.

Because of the systemic danger posed by counterfeiting and piracy, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has estimated to cost the global economy in excess of $250 billion per year and up to 750,000 American jobs, the IPR Center seeks to engage directly with public and private acquisition professionals to break the steady growth of trade in counterfeit goods. 

“Whether we’re discussing criminal organizations selling counterfeit medications and healthcare products, or batteries that could potentially overheat or explode, the end result remains the same; these are criminals that put profit ahead of the public interest,” said IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart. “This multi-dimensional threat requires a multi-dimensional response. No industry or country is immune from counterfeit products in their supply chain, nor can they address the threat alone. Only through increased cooperation among all those affected by counterfeits, as well as increased resources and improved tools can we tackle the growing and evolving nature of the threat. Furthermore, this threat also calls for better education regarding the risks it poses and how to defend against it.”

“The U.S. Chamber commends IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart and his team for its proactive approach to fighting counterfeits,” said David Hirschmann, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “It is important to give procurement professionals in both government and the private sector the tools to help identify counterfeit products and those who peddle counterfeit goods, and the IPR Center will help make this possible. By reducing the sale and use of counterfeit products, consumers, government workers, military personnel, and law enforcement officials will secure genuine items and be protected from dangerous fakes.”

 

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