USTR releases annual “special 301 report” on protecting intellectual property rights
USTR’s findings of more than 100 trading partner countries after significant research and enhanced engagement with stakeholders
Protecting intellectual property rights
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today released its annual “special 301 report” on the adequacy and effectiveness of the U.S. trading partner countries’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights.
The “special 301 report” details the USTR’s findings of more than 100 trading partner countries after significant research and enhanced engagement with stakeholders.
Read the USTR release
Key elements of the 2023 report [PDF 1.1 MB] include:
- Belarus is added to the “watch list,” in response to Belarus passing a law that legalized unlicensed use of certain copyrighted works if the right holder is from a foreign state “committing unfriendly actions,” including sanctioning Belarus for their role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, Belarus can keep royalties from this unlicensed usage and shift them to Belarus’s general budget, meaning that the Lukashenka regime would directly financially benefit from this unauthorized usage.
- Bulgaria is added to the “watch list” because it did not sufficiently address deficiencies in its investigation and prosecution of online piracy cases, such as by allowing criminal investigations, expert examinations, and prosecutions to proceed with just a subset of seized infringing works. USTR will again conduct an out-of-cycle review of Bulgaria in 2023 to assess whether Bulgaria makes material progress in this area.
- The special 301 review of Ukraine continues to be suspended due to invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
- The United States supported negotiations that resulted in the World Trade Organization (WTO) issuing two ministerial decisions in June 2022. One was on the WTO Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Preparedness for Future Pandemics. The other was on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).
- There remain many serious concerns regarding IP protection and enforcement in China.
- Several trading partners continued to advance IP protection and enforcement by enacting major legal reforms.
- Some trading partners joined major international IP treaties.
- Concerns with the European Union’s aggressive promotion of its exclusionary geographical indications (GI) policies persist.The report continues to highlight ongoing concerns related to online piracy and broadcast piracy.
- USTR continues to press trading partners to address concerns on IP protection and enforcement, including through bilateral engagement under Trade and Investment Frameworks (TIFAs) and through other mechanisms.
- USTR is expanding and enhancing engagement with diverse and inclusive groups of stakeholders to consider their perspectives on IP issues.
For more information, contact a professional with KPMG Trade & Customs services:
John L. McLoughlin
Luis (Lou) Abad
|Jenna Leigh Glass
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