Are you concerned about how a foreign nation is treating your intellectual property? Are your trade secrets being stolen? Patents being infringed? Copyrights violated? Trademarks being used in a confusing or deceitful manner? If you feel that a foreign government has failed to enforce their intellectual property protection laws, or if you think that their laws are inadequate, then now is time to stand up and let the US government know your concerns.
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for identifying countries that fail to adequately protect intellectual property rights. This annual list of nations is known as the Special 301 Report. The 2013 Special 301 Report details which countries are considered to be intellectual property problems: it identified a wide range of concerns, such as:
- Deterioration in intellectual property protection, enforcement, and market access in the Ukraine
- Misappropriation of trade secrets in China
- Copyright piracy over the Internet in countries such as Brazil, Italy, and Russia
Countries that are identified in the Special 301 Report are the focus of increased U.S. attention concerning the problem areas, with the aim of helping the foreign trading partner to improve their laws, or the enforcement of their laws.
Written submissions from the public are an important source of information for the Special 301 review process, so the USTR has asked for public comments about intellectual property rights issues arising in other countries.
To facilitate the review, written comments should be as detailed as possible and provide all necessary information for identifying and assessing the effect of the foreign acts, policies, and practices. It helps if you are specific about what foreign laws or policies apply, how they affect you, what the dollar value of that effect is, and how you calculated the dollar value.
The deadline for submitting written comments is February 7, 2014. All written comments,must be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR–2013–0040. Please specify ‘‘2014 Special 301 Review’’ in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field on http://www.regulations.gov.
If you need help with this process, please feel free to call us!