April 27, 2016

USTR Special 301 Underscores Challenges Innovators Face in Global Market

USTR Special 301 Underscores Challenges Innovators Face in Global Market

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) Executive Vice President Mark Elliot issued the following statement marking the release of the 2016 Special 301 Report by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR):

“The 2016 Special 301 report highlights the ongoing challenges innovators face in the global economy, more than 20 years after the creation of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). But it also provides national and global policymakers with a roadmap to develop a stronger IP system throughout the world, namely through use of trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Today’s Special 301 Report also echoes concerns with countries identified by the U.S. Chamber’s International IP Index. Unfortunately, many of these markets have failed to invest in an IP-led innovation model, while others have even worked to undermine the IP system globally.

“While India has been identified by the U.S. Trade Representative as a Priority Watch List country, recent policy reversals continue to pose challenges for creators and innovators. We remain hopeful that further engagement between the United States and India will lead to a much improved IP environment and allow India to make positive contributions to the global innovation ecosystem.

“Chile’s placement on the Priority Watch List, despite a free trade agreement, validates the emphasis that Congressional leaders have put on rigorous implementation plans and enforcement in the TPP.

“Finally, Colombia’s Out-Of-Cycle Review is a welcome recognition of the serious implications of a compulsory license threat.

“Ultimately, the countries listed in the 2016 Special 301 report should choose a stronger IP model—not in reaction to a U.S. government report—but as a deliberate investment in the innovative future of their own economies. GIPC and the U.S. Chamber stand ready to support those efforts.”

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