Mar 092017

Delivered March 8, 2017 at the Open Hearing that USTR conducted as part of the 2017 Special 301 Review

Thank you for the opportunity to testify at this hearing. My name is Mike Palmedo, and I work for American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). We are an academic research program that promotes the public interest in IP policy. Much of my recent research at PIJIP has involved the comparison of copyright limitations in different countries, and the examination of outcomes associated with different copyright limitation structures. Continue reading »


USTR Requests Comments for 2013 Special 301 Report, Announces Hearing on February 20

 Posted by on January 2, 2013  Comments Off on USTR Requests Comments for 2013 Special 301 Report, Announces Hearing on February 20
Jan 022013

On New Year’s Eve, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a Federal Register Notice announcing 2013’s Special 301 Review. This is the annual process in which an interagency committee led by USTR conducts a review “to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” The process ends with the publication of the Special 301 Report, which includes various countries on the “Watch List,” the “Priority Watch List,” or as “Priority Foreign Countries.”  If a country is listed as a Priority Foreign Country, this can lead to formal sanctions (though the U.S.’s membership in the WTO complicates this).
Continue reading »


USTR Releases 2012 Special 301 Report

 Posted by on May 2, 2012  Comments Off on USTR Releases 2012 Special 301 Report
May 022012

The U.S. Trade Representative has released the 2012 Special 301 Report, in which it accuses countries of denying “adequate and effective” protection of intellectual property, or discriminating against American companies that rely on intellectual property protection.  A short statement accompanying the report  says that it “reflects the Administration’s resolve to encourage and maintain effective IPR protection and enforcement worldwide. It identifies a wide range of concerns, including troubling ‘indigenous innovation’ policies that may unfairly disadvantage U.S. rights holders in China, the continuing challenges of copyright piracy over the Internet in countries such as Canada, Italy and Russia, and the ongoing, systemic IPR enforcement issues presented in many trading partners around the world.”

This year there are 40 countries listed, after a review of 77.  The countries included in the report are: Continue reading »

Feb 242012

On February 23, the Special 301 Committee held its third annual opening hearing as part of its review of foreign countries’ intellectual property policies.  The committee was chaired by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation Stan  McCoy.  Committee Members from the following  agencies were represented:  USTR, State, Homeland Security, Commerce, Labor, Agriculture, Library of Congress, Customs & Border Patrol, and the Patent & Trademark Office.  Not present (for the third year in a row) were any representatives from the Department of Health & Human Services, USAID, or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – a point noted by many who testified. Continue reading »


Some of the Regular “Asks” of USTR During Special 301 Reviews

 Posted by on February 22, 2012  Comments Off on Some of the Regular “Asks” of USTR During Special 301 Reviews
Feb 222012

Tomorrow USTR will hold an open hearing as part of the 2012 Special 301 Review, in which it identifies countries that “deny adequate or effective intellectual property protection or deny fair and equitable market access to United States persons that rely upon intellectual property protection.”  This year, there will be fewer big businesses and trade associations at the hearing than in previous years, though USTR has received written comments from them.  The witness list – containing three country representatives, three IP owner representatives, and six NGO/academic speakers – is available here.  To view the written comments received by USTR for this year’s 301 review, go to and enter the search code “ustr-2011-0021.”

This blog highlights the main points made by a coalition of civil society NGOs, PhRMA, and IIPA in  written comments to USTR. Continue reading »


Special 301 Comments Online; Industry Highlights IP in TPP Countries

 Posted by on February 13, 2012  Comments Off on Special 301 Comments Online; Industry Highlights IP in TPP Countries
Feb 132012

Comments received by the U.S. Trade Representative for the 2012 Special 301 Report have been posted online at

This year, USTR received 41 comments from groups or individuals.  Of these, 28 came from businesses, trade organizations, or coalitions representing IP owners.  Five came from nonprofit organizations, six came from individuals or academics, and two came from organizations representing foreign businesses in countries on previous watch lists (Brazil and the Philippines). The deadline for foreign governments to submit comments is this Friday. Continue reading »


Speakers and Panelists for the March 2 Hearing on Special 301

 Posted by on February 28, 2011  Comments Off on Speakers and Panelists for the March 2 Hearing on Special 301
Feb 282011

On Wednesday, the interagency committee headed by USTR that writes the Special 301 Report will hold a public hearing for stakeholders to provide input. The list of speakers includes four country representatives, four right holder groups/firms, ten civil society groups, and one organization comprised of US state legislators.  The panel includes representatives from USTR as well as the Departments of Commerce, State, Justice, Treasury, Labor, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, the USPTO, Library of Congress, Customs & Border Protection, USAID, and the International Trade Commission. Click here for the hearing schedule and Committee membership.