Washington DC
17 February 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon
IP trade group singles out Canada
The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) has named 16 countries, including Canada, that should be placed on the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual list that names and shames jurisdictions that fail to protect US IP.

The Special 301 Report, which is compiled using evidence and comment from stakeholders, including rights holders, highlights physical and online markets around the world that are reported to be facilitating substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. It is usually released in April every year.

Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates should be placed on the report’s ‘watch list’, according to the IIPA, while Chile, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Vietnam deserve ‘priority watch list’ status.

Canada featured on IIPA’s recommendations for the “Priority Watch List” as recently as 2012, but was downgraded in 2013.

The IIPA said that, while Canada’s legal environment has become “somewhat less attractive to the operators of massive multinational online piracy operations”, as a result of its Copyright Modernization Act, online infringement remains widespread.

“The greatly expanded exceptions to copyright protection that were the hallmark of the Copyright Modernization Act have already caused serious damage to Canada’s educational publishing market.”

“Their ill-defined boundaries, in combination with unfavourable decisions of Canadian courts and the Copyright Board, further ratchet up the level of market uncertainty for creative industries in Canada.”

The USTR’s Special 301 reports have come under flak recently.

Late last year, the USTR returned Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace to the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, which focuses on online infringement, after a four-year absence.

Alibaba president Michael Evans said this ignored “the real work” that Alibaba has done against counterfeiters. He added: “Unfortunately, the USTR’s decision leads us to question whether the USTR acted based on the actual facts or was influenced by the current political climate.”

More news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Google hit with €2.42 billion EU antitrust fine
27 June 2017 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The European Commission ruled the company had abused its power by giving an advantage to its own products and services in Google search results
Elsevier wins $15 million settlement
26 June 2017 | New York | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Elsevier has received $15 million in damages in its copyright infringement lawsuit against Sci-Hub, the Library Genesis project and a number of other sites
Trio sentenced over piracy business
26 June 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Three men have received suspended prison sentences for illegally distributing copyrighted content, costing more than £2.5 million
Jones Day bolsters IP practice
26 June 2017 | Los Angeles | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Law firm Jones Day has added Andrea Jeffries and Emily Tait as partners to its intellectual property practice
Hong Kong, Albania and Panama among key counterfeit transit points
23 June 2017 | Alicante | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Hong Kong, Albania and Panama are among several key transit points for counterfeits worldwide
Merchant & Gould hires patent trio
22 June 2017 | New York | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Merchant & Gould has expanded its New York office with the addition of three new intellectual property attorneys.
Nominet releases annual .uk domain disputes report
22 June 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Over half of .uk domain disputes through Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service have resulted in a domain name being transferred, saving an estimated £7.18 million in legal costs in 2016