Piracy of devices, storage technologies, and mobile technologies is growing worldwide according to the USTR’s annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights. The USTR also reports an increase in software and devices to circumvent the protection systems of game consoles.
The report, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, examines patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret laws in countries around the world. For this year’s report, the U.S. government reviewed 82 trading partners and placed 10 of them on the Priority Watch List and 27 on the Watch List.
Italy was removed from the Watch List, mainly due to its efforts to address online copyright piracy. Italy enacted regulations that provide for notice-and-takedown procedures and that address large-scale piracy. Those regulations went into effect at the end of March 2014.
China, at the top of the Priority Watch List, is working on reforms to its patent, copyright, trade secret, and other IP-related laws and regulations.
India, second on the Priority Watch List, is characterized as having a “challenging environment for IPR protection and enforcement.” One key concern is the inadequacy of India’s contract-based approach to trade secret protection. There are few remedies when a competitor steals trade secrets but where there is no contractual relationship between those companies.
The Priority Watch List includes: China, India, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand and Venezuela.
The Watch List includes: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
For additional information, read the press release and the Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights.