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Today, 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 by clicking here.
In a USTR press release, the United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk said, “This year’s Special 301 Report is more significant than ever in light of recent U.S. Government data showing that IP intensive industries support as many as 40 million American jobs and up to 60 percent of U.S. 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. On the other hand, I call on the Government of Ukraine to address the serious concerns that have caused us to put Ukraine back on the Priority Watch List.”
The Special 301 Report provides a means for the United States to promote the protection and enforcement of IPR. In the Report, USTR announced that Malaysia has been removed from the Watch List after making significant strides, including passing copyright amendments that strengthen copyright protection, stepped-up IPR enforcement, and promulgating regulations to protect pharmaceutical test data. In addition, Spain has been removed from the Watch List because of its adoption of regulations implementing a law to combat piracy over the Internet. Ukraine is being moved to the Priority Watch List from the Watch List in light of serious and growing concerns relating to counterfeiting and rampant piracy, including piracy over the Internet.
To read the full press release, click here.