USTR Special 301 Report Names Ukraine Worst IPR Offender
This year Ukraine has been highlighted as the Priority Foreign Country in the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Special 301 report, which evaluates intellectual property rights protection in the trading partners of the United States on a yearly basis.
USTR reviewed 95 trading partners for this year’s report and placed 41 countries on the Priority Foreign Country, Priority Watch List, or Watch List.
Ukraine is the only Priority Foreign Country, which is the most serious designation; Russia has been on the Priority Watch List for 17 straight years and Bulgaria has been added to the Watch List this year.
“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 call upon that government to reverse recent backsliding and swiftly resolve the problems identified today,” said US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis.
As noted in the report, Ukraine has been listed as the top offender mainly for copyright-related issues such as:
- Widespread use of illegal software by the government;
- Nontransparent system governing copyright collectives responsible for collecting and distributing royalties to rights holders;
- Failure to implement an effective system to combat online piracy.
Designation as a Priority Foreign Country gives targeted countries 30 days to enter into good faith negotiations; otherwise, the USTR may launch a formal investigation that could lead to trade sanctions.
Prepared by: Maya Kryvoshei
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Source: USTR 2012 Special 301 Report
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