US identifies trading partners failing to protect, enforce IP

WASHINGTON, A US report identified trading partners that do not “adequately or effectively” protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or deny market access to US innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights.

The 2018 report, issued by the Office of US Trade Representative (USTR), said China is on the Priority Watch List for the 14th consecutive year and India also remains on the Priority Watch List this year “for longstanding challenges in its IP framework and lack of sufficient measurable improvements.” Meanwhile, the USTR downgraded Canada from the Watch List to the Priority Watch List this year “for failing to make progress on overcoming important IP enforcement challenges.” It stressed that key concerns regarding Canada include poor border enforcement generally and, in particular, lack of customs authority to inspect or detain suspected counterfeit or pirated goods shipped through Canada, concerns about IP protections and procedures related to pharmaceuticals, deficient copyright protection, and inadequate transparency and due process regarding the protection of geographical indications.

USTR Robert Lighthizer said that “the ideas and creativity of American entrepreneurs fuel economic growth and employ millions of hardworking Americans.” “This report sends a clear signal to our trading partners that the protection of Americans’ intellectual property rights is a top priority of the Trump Administration,” he remarked.

According to US Government estimates, IP-intensive industries directly and indirectly support 45.5 million American jobs, about 30 percent of all employment in the US.

Source: Kuwait News Agency