China continues to lead the “black list” prepared by the Government of the United States on intellectual property theft and patent violations worldwide. The list also includes 11 more countries, which also includes Chile, Argentina, and Venezuela.

In its “Special 301” annual report for the year 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) identifies “trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to US innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights.”

The 11 more countries recorded in the US “black list” are- Chile, Algeria, India, Argentina, China, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine, Kuwait, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.

The report “identifies foreign trading partners where IP protection and enforcement has deteriorated or remained at inadequate levels and where US persons who rely on IP protection have difficulty with fair and equitable market access.”

The USTR document claims that although Beijind did make a few modest reforms to its judicial system over the past few years, it hasn’t altered certain laws that allow Chinese firms to violate the intellectual property rights of foreign firms, including counterfeiting, online piracy, and registering trademarks in bad faith, among other things.  

In the current trade negotiations between the US and China, the question of intellectual property is one of the significant points of friction, which is designed to put an end to the tariff and trade war introduced by the United States President Donald Trump and to which Beijing has replied with similar measures.  

India acquires the second position in the US “black list”, with the USTR highlighting “longstanding deficiencies” in its IP framework as well as insufficient measurable improvements concerning copyrights, patents, enforcement, and trade secrets, along with new issues that are negatively affecting the right holders of the United States.

Venezuela and Chile continues to be recorded in the “black list”, while Argentina was added in 2019 due to “longstanding and well-known challenges to IP-intensive industries, including from the US. A key deficiency in the legal framework for patents is the unduly broad limitations on patent eligible subject matter,” the report states.

The report accepts “progress”by Chilean authorities but highlight that there continued to be notable digital piracy in that nation, while concerning Venezuela the USTR report warns that “significant uncertainty and deterred investments in innovation and IP in recent years” have placed it considerably underneath the international standards.

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