The report, released on 28 April, placed China, a continuing offender, and India on the USTR’s Priority Watch List.
It said: “China imposes requirements that US firms develop their IP in China or transfer their IP to Chinese entities as a condition to accessing the Chinese market.”
But, according to the USTR, China continues to be home to “widespread infringing activity, including trade secret theft, rampant online piracy and counterfeiting, and high levels of physical pirated and counterfeit exports to markets around the globe”.
Meanwhile, India lacks “sufficient measurable improvements to its IP framework on longstanding and new challenges that have negatively affected US right holders over the past year”.
“New and growing concerns, including with respect to draft policies that negatively affect the commercialisation of biotechnology, and the positions that India supports and voices in multilateral forum on IP issues, continue to generate skepticism about whether India is serious about pursuing pro-innovation and creativity growth policies.”
While Canada remained absent from the Priority Watch List, the USTR said: “In virtually all countries identified in this report, IP enforcement is lacking.”
“Many of the listed trading partners including Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan do not provide adequate or effective border enforcement against counterfeit and pirated goods; in addition, many listed countries’ customs officials lack authority to take ex officio action to seize and destroy such goods at the border or to take such action for goods in-transit.”
According to the USTR, many of these countries did not address the “continuing and emerging challenges of copyright piracy”.