Russia remains on Special 301 Report Priority Watch List

Russian Federation
Russia remains on the Priority Watch List of the Office of the United States Trade Representative's 2011 Special 301 Report. The report, which was released in April 2011, examines the adequacy and effectiveness of IP rights protection in the 77 trading partners of the United States.

Russia is the only Eastern European country among the 12 countries placed on the Priority Watch List, mainly due to widespread counterfeiting and piracy - particularly in the motion picture, television and entertainment software industries. The report also notes the widespread problem of internet piracy and the weak enforcement of IP rights in the country.

On a positive note, the report emphasises that Russia has fulfilled the following legislative commitments in the field of intellectual property:
  • The provisions of the Civil Code that deal specifically with intellectual property have been amended (for further details please see "Parliament adopts amendments to Civil Code's IP provisions");
  • The Federal Law on Customs Regulation, which grants ex officio authority to customs officials, has been passed;
  • The Law on Activity Licensing has been amended, thereby prohibiting infringers from renewing optical media production licences; and
  • The Law on the Circulation of Medicines has been amended.
Another 29 countries are placed on the Watch List - among them are Belarus, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Last year, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were removed from the Watch List because of significant improvements in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting in these countries.

Jelena Jankovic, PETOŠEVIC, Belgrade  

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