Russia, U.S. to Improve Intellectual Property Rights Protection

 U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk

Agreement on the IPR Action Plan represents a significant step at a historic time in our bilateral economic relationship,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said. (AP images)

Washington D.C.
December 26, 2012

The United States and Russia have agreed to an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Action Plan to improve IPR protection and enforcement. The action plan addresses priority areas including combating IPR infringement over the Internet and strengthening IPR enforcement.

“Agreement on the IPR Action Plan represents a significant step at a historic time in our bilateral economic relationship,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said December 21 in announcing the agreement. “With this step, Russia and the United States have demonstrated a serious commitment to continued engagement on strengthening IPR protection and enforcement. This step is particularly important in light of Russia’s recent membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the application of the WTO agreement between us. Russia has made commendable progress in improving its IPR regime, and the action plan signals a commitment to maintain that momentum to address IPR priorities.”

“The IPR Action Plan delivers on shared U.S. and Russian objectives, as reaffirmed by the recent G8 Ministerial Declaration, to promote strong IPR protection and enforcement to advance our innovative economies,” Kirk continued. “IPR theft is among the chief threats to any innovative economy. Intellectual property rights not only protect our creators and innovators, but also promote foreign investment, economic development, and job creation. The IPR Action Plan affirms the importance both sides place on advancing IPR protection and enforcement.”

The IPR Action Plan endorses action on a broad range of IPR priorities, including:

• Combating copyright piracy over the Internet, including actions such as takedowns of infringing content, action against persons responsible for IPR crimes, coordination with rights holders, cooperation and information exchange between IPR enforcement officials, and devotion of resources and personnel to law enforcement agencies to combat piracy over the Internet.

• Enhancing IPR enforcement, including actions against counterfeiting, piracy and circumventing technological protection measures; imposing deterrent penalties and sentences; conducting raids; seizing and, where appropriate, destroying IPR infringing products and the equipment and materials used to produce such products; and promoting transparency and public awareness of IPR enforcement actions.

• Coordinating on legislation and other Issues, including on Russia’s draft legislation on liability for Internet service providers to combat Internet piracy, consulting on implementation of Russia’s WTO pharmaceutical test data protection commitments, administrative penalties, and exchanging information on enforcement mechanisms and best practices for judges.

In 2013, the United States will work closely with Russia to enhance bilateral coordination on IPR protection and enforcement, including through the U.S.-Russian Intellectual Property Working Group, USTR said. This work will focus systematically on Russia taking actions identified in the action plan, the agency added.

A copy of the action plan is available on the USTR website.

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