By Leif Anderson, Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation
Today, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator released the “2013 Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement” (2013 Joint Strategic Plan). The 2013 Joint Strategic Plan is the Administration’s second Joint Strategic Plan and will guide activities over the next three years. It also contains a report on the progress made since the Administration’s first Joint Strategic Plan in June 2010. The key role played by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is reflected in both the forward-looking aspects of the 2013 Plan and its overview of Administration accomplishments.
The 2013 Joint Strategic Plan notes, for example, the release in May of this year of the annual “Special 301” report examining IPR protection and enforcement by U.S. trading partners. It highlights that in February 2011, USTR issued the first standalone Notorious Market List, which drew special attention to online and physical foreign markets that deal with infringing products. USTR has issued two more Notorious Markets reports since then, in December 2011 and December 2012. The 2013 Joint Strategic Plan observes that “[f]ollowing their inclusion on the Notorious Markets List, several markets have taken action to address the widespread availability of pirated or counterfeit goods,” citing, among other examples, the Chinese search engines Baidu and Sogou, and the online shopping platform Taobao.
USTR has made significant progress since the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on implementing its new trade agreements. U.S. trade agreements with strong IPR provisions are now in force with Korea, Colombia and Panama, and USTR is seeking strong, state-of-the-art IPR protection and enforcement provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement now under negotiation. USTR is also preparing to launch negotiations on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union that will reflect the high IPR standards of both economies.
Going forward, the 2013 Joint Strategic Plan states that “USTR, working with the Federal agencies, will continue to utilize the full range of trade policy tools” to promote strong intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.