Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property

The Office of the United States Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights and the findings of its Notorious Markets List, which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.

The Special 301 Report identifies trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to U.S. innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights.

Trading partners that currently present the most significant concerns regarding IP rights are placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. USTR identified 36 countries for these lists in the Special 301 Report:

Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are on the Priority Watch List.

Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are on the Watch List.

These trading partners will be the subject of increased bilateral engagement with USTR to address IP concerns. Specifically, over the coming weeks, USTR will review the developments against the benchmarks established in the Special 301 action plans for countries that have been on the Priority Watch List for multiple years. For such countries that fail to address U.S. concerns, USTR will take appropriate actions, such as enforcement actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act or pursuant to World Trade Organization or other trade agreement dispute settlement procedures, necessary to combat unfair trade practices and to ensure that trading partners follow through with their international commitments.

Click here to read the 2019 Special 301 public hearing transcript.

Click here to view the video recording of the 2019 Special 301 public hearing.

Click here to read the Special 301 Report.