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USTR Releases Annual “Special 301” Report on IP Rights Protection and Enforcement

May 2, 2011

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on May 2 issued its annual "Special 301" report highlighting foreign markets with the worst intellectual rights protection and enforcement problems.

“This year’s Special 301 Report comes with a call to action for our trading partners. We are ready to work intensively with you to stop intellectual property theft that threatens IP-related jobs in the United States and other countries,” said Ambassador Ron Kirk in a press release. He stressed that the report “is a springboard for ambitious and collaborative partnerships in the coming year to strengthen protection for the innovation and creativity that drive jobs and exports for the United States and our partners around the world.”

In this year’s report, the USTR cites America’s two largest trading partners, Canada and China, for remaining on the Priority Watch List. “Trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns regarding insufficient IPR protection or enforcement, or otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection,” the USTR announcement said. The USTR statement continued:

Twelve countries – China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand, and Venezuela – are on the Priority Watch List. These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.

Twenty-nine trading partners are on the Watch List, also meriting bilateral attention to address underlying IPR problems: Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

The full Special 301 Report is available here.

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