Recently, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual review of intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement among U.S. trading partners, known as its annual Special 301 Report. In that report, USTR looked at the IPR practices of nearly 100 U.S. trading partners to determine which countries had the least favorable climates and protections for IPR. Thirty U.S. trading partners - including Brazil, Columbia, Egypt and Turkey - were included on the “watch list,” which means that the United States is concerned that their regulatory climates do not provide sufficient IPR protections. An additional 10 countries - India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Algeria, Pakistan, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Russia - were included on the “priority watch list.”
Another trading partner - Ukraine - was listed as a “priority foreign country,” a status reserved for trading partners considered to have the most significant shortcomings in its IPR policies and protections. In the report, Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Acting U.S. Trade Representative, wrote, “I regret that the Government of Ukraine has earned the first new Priority Foreign Country designation in 11 years due to its severely deteriorating climate for IPR protection and market access, and [I] call upon that government to reverse recent backsliding and swiftly resolve the problems identified today.”
The Special 301 Report is issued annually after the USTR reviews IPR protections amongst U.S. trading partners. The country-by-country analysis included in the report details the specific concerns behind USTR’s determinations for each trading partner. The 2013 USTR Special 301 Report can be viewed here.