Posts Tagged: "ustr"

Lighthizer’s Double Challenge: Protecting IP by Managing Both China and Trump

While a preliminary trade deal seems to have been struck between China and the United States over tariffs, the two sides have yet to seriously address the toughest and perhaps most economically crucial issues on the table: China clinging to a tech policy based on systematic theft of U.S. intellectual property (IP), forced technology transfer, and cybertheft.President Trump has paid lip service to the need for any deal to include IP protections, and China responded on March 14 by rushing a law that would, according to CNBC, “prohibit the forced transfer of technology from foreign-invested businesses in China, step up protection of intellectual property and claim to give the companies equal footing with domestic players.”  Nevertheless, China watchers are skeptical that these commitments remain cosmetic, while it remains clear that Trump has focused his negotiators chiefly on those things nearest and dearest to his heart: physical goods and tariffs. As talks move forward, the question remains—how will U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer resolve these challenges for the benefit of IP holders?

U.S. Chamber calls on NAFTA Countries to modernize and elevate IP frameworks

The letter explains that the results from the Chamber’s IP Index has shown that as a whole North America is at a considerable disadvantage compared with both Asia and Europe. “NAFTA modernization is an opportunity to elevate the IP frameworks to a level commensurate with the world’s leading economies – if it fails to put Canada and Mexico among the top 10 countries ranked on the Index it will be a missed opportunity,” the letter reads.

Innovators and Content Creators Urge USTR Lighthizer to Fight for Strong IP in NAFTA Negotiations

ACTION for Trade asks Lighthizer to consider advocating for strong IP protections and robust enforcement to benefit a diverse group of industries, including digital content producers and distributors, biopharmaceutical firms and software developers… Along with strong patent policy, ACTION for Trade calls for the establishment of regulatory data protection (RDP) provisions which are consistent with U.S. law, especially where medical innovations are concerned. The letter to USTR Lighthizer notes that U.S. law recognizes a 12-year period of RDP for biologic treatments and a 5-year period of RDP for small molecule treatments. Such provisions would allow the original innovators of novel medicines to submit data on the safety and efficacy of medicines while shielding that data from others who might produce generics based on the data.

USTR: Counterfeit and pirated physical products valued at nearly half a trillion dollars

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, imports of counterfeit and pirated physical products are valued at about half a trillion dollars, or about 2.5 percent of all imports around the globe… The recent review of notorious markets by the USTR identifies 43 such markets offering counterfeit or pirated goods either through physical stores or online channels. A total of 25 notorious markets identified in the report operate in the online space as websites either facilitating infringing conduct or lacking consumer privacy safeguards, some of which even enable the installation of malware on consumer computers. This malware can include remote access Trojans (RATs) which can steal sensitive personal information, like bank account information, or gain control of computer hardware.

New Balance wins largest verdict ever for foreign plaintiff in Chinese trademark suit

This latest victory for a foreign plaintiff asserting intellectual property claims is proof of yet another step down the road leading to a reformed, intellectual property friendly China, with China cracking down on infringers — as promised by Chinese President Xi Jinping… The Chinese IP court in Beijing reportedly ordered three domestic shoemakers to pay a total of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million USD) to New Balance for infringing upon the slanted ‘N’ logo utilized by New Balance on its branded shoes. That’s not a huge damages award in the grand scheme of trademark damages ordered around the world but reports indicate that the damages in this cases were the most ever handed out by a Chinese court to a foreign plaintiff for trademark infringement allegations.

Alibaba ramps up rhetoric on anti-counterfeiting laws, urges China to strengthen penalties

The most recent notorious markets report from the USTR seems to have further galvanized Alibaba into taking action to reduce the number of counterfeit products sold on its e-commerce platforms. In early January, Alibaba filed its first pair of lawsuits targeting retailers selling fake Swarovski watches on the company’s e-commerce platforms. Then in late February, Alibaba released an official corporate statement in which it blamed China’s ambiguous counterfeiting laws for contributing to the problem… Alibaba’s statement goes so far as to equate counterfeiting to drunk driving in terms of how strongly such actions should be criminalized.

India’s IPR Policies Jeopardize its U.S. Trade Benefits

Over the past few months, a groundswell of voices in the U.S. business community and U.S. Government has arisen to express frustration with India’s IPR policies. In May, USTR’s annual Special 301 Report highlighted India for the 24th consecutive year, citing growing challenges to IPR protection which raise “serious questions regarding the future condition of the innovation climate in India across multiple sectors and disciplines.” In June, the Alliance for Fair Trade with India was launched by over a dozen leading U.S. business associations, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, to bring attention to India’s discriminatory trade practices, including the erosion of IPR in India. In July, Vice President Joe Biden cited IPR protection as an obstacle to expanded U.S.-India trade. Following a hearing on how India’s industrial policies are hurting U.S. companies, House Energy & Commerce Trade Subcommittee Chair Lee Terry (R-NE) introduced legislation in September to block duty-free access to U.S. markets for countries without adequate protection for intellectual property.

US Trade Representative Issues Annual Report on Global IP Rights

For 2010 the US Trade Representative reviewed 77 trading partners for this year’s Special 301 Report, and placed 41 countries on either the Priority Watch List, Watch List, or the Section 306 monitoring list. The Priority Watch List for 2010 names the following countries:China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand and Venezuela.