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Notice

Identification of Countries That Deny Adequate Protection, or Market Access, for Intellectual Property Rights Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974

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AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has submitted its annual report on the identification of those foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to United States persons that rely upon intellectual property protection, and those foreign countries determined to be priority foreign countries, to the Committee on Finance of the United States Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the United States House of Representatives, pursuant to section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2242).

DATES:

This report was submitted on April 29, 2005 and is available on USTR's Web site at http://www.ustr.gov.

ADDRESSES:

Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Choe Groves, Director for Intellectual Property at (202) 395-6864, or Stan McCoy, Assistant General Counsel, or Dan Mullaney, Associate General Counsel at (202) 395-7305.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 182 of the Trade Act requires USTR to identify within 30 days of the publication of the National Trade Estimates Report all trading partners that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. Those countries that have the most onerous or egregious acts, policies, or practices that have the greatest adverse impact (actual or potential) on the relevant U.S. products are to be identified as priority foreign countries, unless they are entering into good faith negotiations or are making significant progress in bilateral or multilateral negotiations to provide adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights. In identifying countries in this manner, the USTR is directed to take into account the history of intellectual property laws and practices of the foreign country, including any previous identifications as a priority foreign country, and the history of efforts of the United States, and the response of the foreign country, to achieve adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. In making these determinations, the USTR must consult with the Register of Copyrights, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, and other appropriate officials of the Federal Government, and take into account information from other sources such as information submitted by interested persons. The Start Printed Page 25646Special 301 Report is available on USTR's Web site at http://www.ustr.gov.

On April 29, 2005, USTR identified 52 trading partners that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property or deny fair and equitable market access to United States artists and industries that rely upon intellectual property protection.

USTR announced the results of the out-of-cycle review for China, and stated that it is making a determination on China with multiple elements. First, USTR will work with U.S. industry and other stakeholders with an eye toward utilizing WTO procedures to bring China into compliance with its WTO TRIPS obligations, particularly those requiring transparency and a criminal IPR enforcement system with deterrent effect. Second, USTR will invoke the transparency provisions of the WTO TRIPS Agreement, which will require China to produce detailed documentation on certain aspects of IPR enforcement that affects U.S. rights under the TRIPS Agreement. Third, USTR is elevating China to the Priority Watch List on the basis of serious concerns about China's compliance with its WTO TRIPS obligations and commitments China made at the April 2004 meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (“JCCT”) to achieve a significant reduction in IPR infringement throughout China, and make progress in other areas. Fourth, USTR will maintain Section 306 monitoring of China's implementation of its 1992 and 1995 bilateral agreements with the United States (including additional commitments made in 1996). And finally, USTR will use the JCCT, including the IPR Working Group, to secure new, specific commitments concerning additional actions that China will take to significantly improve IPR protection and enforcement, particularly over the next quarter. China's fulfillment of these commitments will be a centerpiece of the 2005 JCCT.

In addition, USTR maintained Ukraine's designation as a Priority Foreign Country, and again designated Paraguay for Section 306 monitoring of its commitments under the 2004 Memorandum of Understanding.

USTR also announced the placement of 14 trading partners on the Priority Watch List: Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela. In addition, USTR placed 36 trading partners on the Watch List: Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, European Union, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. USTR will conduct out-of-cycle reviews of Ukraine, Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada, and Saudi Arabia.

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Jennifer Choe Groves,

Director for Intellectual Property.

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[FR Doc. 05-9534 Filed 5-12-05; 8:45 am]

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