The United States Trade Representative (USTR)—comes a lesser-known, but also insidious global intellectual property gambit: the Special 301 Report. The Special 301 Report is a survey conducted under the auspices of the Trade Act and has been issued every year since 1989. The USTR assesses whether the other countries of the world have been naughty or nice in their treatment of U.S. intellectual property holders, and raps them over the knuckles if they don't come up to scruff.
One of the key points that we and our partners make in this submission is that the process for drawing up the Special 301 Report is fundamentally flawed. The Special 301 Report is unabashedly partial to the complainant—the USTR acts as its own judge, jury, and executioner.
The World Trade Organization committee on intellectual property and trade this week will discuss a range of issues including a request by least-developed countries to extend the time before they are required to enforce rules on IP and pharmaceuticals. Other issues include a discussion of IP and innovation, and a moratorium on complaints about government actions that do not violate WTO rules but may harm trade.
The WTO Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is scheduled to meet on 9-10 June.
Will personal data become a property right licensed to those who give you the best deal for it? Researchers at a conference convened by the Max-Planck Institute on Innovation and Competition in Munich delved into a future “holistic approach” of intellectual property, data and consumer protection, with additional assistance from competition law.