Special 301

The “Special 301” Report reflects the outcome of a Congressionally-mandated annual review of the global state of intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement.  The review reflects the Administration’s resolve to encourage and maintain enabling environments for innovation, including effective IP protection and enforcement, in markets worldwide, which benefit not only U.S. exporters but the domestic IP-intensive industries in those markets as well.  The Report identifies a wide range of concerns that limit innovation and investment, including:  (a) the deterioration in the effectiveness of IP protection and enforcement and overall market access for persons relying on IP in a number of trading partner markets; (b) reported inadequacies in trade secret protection in countries around the world, as well as an increasing incidence of trade secret misappropriation; (c) troubling “indigenous innovation” policies that may unfairly disadvantage U.S. rights holders in foreign markets; (d) the continuing challenges of copyright piracy and the sale of counterfeit trademarked products on the Internet; (e) additional market access barriers, including nontransparent, discriminatory or otherwise trade-restrictive, measures that appear to impede access to healthcare and copyright-protected content; and (f) ongoing, systemic IP enforcement issues at borders and in many trading partner markets around the world.  The United States uses the review and resulting Report to focus our engagement on these issues, and looks forward to constructive cooperation with the trading partners identified in the Report to improve the environment for authors, brand owners, and inventors around the world.