Tuesday, May 4, 2010

USTR Releases 2010 Special 301 Report on Protection for Intellectual Property

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has just released its 2010 "Special 301" Report which evaluates the adequacy and effectiveness of actions taken by its trading partners to protect intellectual property rights (IPR).  The Special 301 Report is issued pursuant to section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.

The 2010 report continues to express "serious concerns" about lack of adequate protection for IPR in China.  China therefore remains on the Priority Watch List of those countries that do not provide adequate protection for IPR, along with 10 other countries, including Canada, Russia and India.  According to the USTR, these countries will be subject to "particularly intense engagement through bilateral discussion" on the subject of better IPR protection. 

On a positive note, the 2010 Report removes three European countries, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, from the Watch List in recognition of their increased efforts to fight piracy and counterfeiting.  Saudi Arabia and Israel also were removed from the Watch List.  A handful of other European countries remain on a lower-level Watch List, including Finland, Greece, Italy, Romania and Spain, along with 24 other countries.  The USTR will continue to engage in bilateral efforts to address concerns relating to better protection for IPR with those countries. More information can be found on the USTR website.



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