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Business News (more headlines) 05-03-2014

USTR Releases Annual Special 301 Report On Intellectual Property Rights

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Website: http://www.iipa.com/special301.html

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its annual "Special 301" Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners' protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Significant elements of the 2014 Special 301 Report include the following:

* USTR highlights growing concerns with respect to the environment for IPR protection and enforcement in India and other markets.
* The Report expresses ongoing, serious concerns about the protection and enforcement of trade secrets with respect to China, and emerging concerns in other markets.
* USTR removes Italy and the Philippines from the Watch List in recognition of their IPR-related accomplishments, and as an indication of support for their commitment to continued progress.
* The Report highlights music licensing and cable broadcasting concerns throughout the Caribbean that adversely affect U.S. copyright holders, including creators of original pay television programming, songwriters, and other independent artists.
* USTR announces that it will conduct Out-of-Cycle reviews to promote engagement and progress on IPR challenges identified in this year's reviews of India, Kuwait, Paraguay and Spain.

"The United States is an innovation economy. We are the global leader in research and development. We have given rise to some of the most creative, inventive and entrepreneurial businesses in the world, contributing significantly to advances in global health, the development of the digital economy and the education and entertainment of billions of people worldwide. More than 30 million Americans owe their jobs directly to these and other innovative industries. USTR is fully committed to unlocking opportunity for those Americans to share their inventions and creations with people all over the world without their work being infringed or misappropriated," said Ambassador Michael Froman.

"Release of the 2014 Special 301 Report marks 25 years since USTR published the first Special 301 'Fact Sheet.' In that time, we have achieved dramatic changes in the international intellectual property landscape. The Obama Administration is committed to meaningful and sustained engagement with trading partners -- from China to India to Canada -- with the goal of resolving intellectual property-related concerns so that Americans and American firms can compete on a level playing field in those markets."

"I would like to congratulate the Governments of Italy and the Philippines on their removal from the Watch List. Both were named in the first Special 301 Fact Sheet and in many annual reports since, but today we acknowledge their accomplishments and encourage them to continue their progress," Ambassador Froman concluded. "Likewise, we congratulate Israel on its removal from the Watch List earlier this year."

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