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U.S. Trade Representative Issues Annual Report On IP Infringement Abroad

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WASHINGTON, May 3, 2011 - The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 report on Monday, outlining the effectiveness of  trade partners in combating infringement of the rights of U.S. intellectual property holders.

The U.S. claims 18 million American jobs dependent upon intellectual property.  The sector also represents the largest source of export revenue for the U.S.

The Special 301 report provides a means by which the U.S. promotes the protection of intellectual property rights abroad with 77 of its trading partners.  Two lists, the Watch List and the Priority Watch List, include nations where the USTR has assessed weak protections of rights.

This year's report called out Italy as the subject of an out-of-cycle review to monitor progress it has made on improving its IP protections.  Italy currently resides on the Watch List.

Meanwhile, Canada and China, the two largest trading partners of the U.S., both appear on the Priority Watch List, along with 10 more countries such as Pakistan, Israel and Russia.  The Watch List includes 29 countries, such as Mexico, Greece and Spain.

"We are ready to work intensively with [other nations] to stop intellectual property theft that threatens IP-related jobs in the United States and other countries,” said Ambassador Ron Kirk. “[This] report is a springboard for ambitious and collaborative partnerships in the coming year to strengthen protection for the innovation and creativity that drive jobs and exports for the United States and our partners around the world.”

Jonathan began his career as a journalist before turning his focus to law and policy. He is an attorney licensed in Texas and the District of Columbia and has worked previously as a political reporter, in political campaign communications and on Capitol Hill. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Washington and a J.D. from Villanova Law School, where he focused his studies on Internet and intellectual property law and policy. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he roots for Seattle sports teams and plays guitar in his free time.

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