USTR Releases Special 301 Report on IP Protection


The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released the 2023 Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement. The annual report evaluates over 100 trading partners and highlights key concerns and improvements in IP protection.

Belarus was added to the Watch List due to its law that legalizes the unlicensed use of copyrighted works from certain foreign states. The country can also keep royalties from unlicensed usage, directly benefiting the Lukashenka regime.

Bulgaria was also added to the Watch List for not addressing deficiencies in online piracy investigations and prosecutions. The Special 301 review of Ukraine remains suspended due to Russia's invasion of the country.

Despite some positive developments in China, the country's pace of IP reform slowed, and concerns about technology transfer, trade secrets, and counterfeiting persist. The U.S. continues to monitor China's progress in implementing commitments under the United States-China Economic and Trade Agreement (Phase One Agreement).

Several trading partners, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Nigeria, have enacted major legal reforms to advance IP protection and enforcement. Others, such as Tunisia and Chile, have joined international IP treaties. However, the EU's promotion of exclusionary geographical indications (GI) policies remains a concern for the United States.

The Report highlights ongoing issues related to online piracy and broadcast piracy, including stream-ripping, illicit streaming devices, and illegal IPTV services. The USTR also continues to engage with trading partners to address concerns on IP protection and enforcement, using bilateral engagement and other mechanisms.

In 2023, the U.S. has expanded and enhanced engagement with diverse and inclusive stakeholder groups to consider their perspectives on IP issues. For example, the U.S. organized workshops with stakeholders on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

The Special 301 Report is an annual review of the global state of IP protection and enforcement, and this year placed 29 trading partners on the Priority Watch List or Watch List.

Seven countries on the Priority Watch List, including Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Venezuela, will be the focus of intense bilateral engagement in the coming year, according to the USTR.



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here