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Iryna Polovets: "Investigation of the USA in the case about recognition of Ukraine the most “pirate” country can last 6-9 months"

Kyiv, June 1, 2013

Investigation of the USA in the case about recognition of Ukraine the most “pirate” country can last six up to nine months, Iryna Polovets, the lawyer of Volkov and Partners Law Firm considers.

“Usually, investigation of violation of intellectual property rights in accordance with the Special section is carried out within six months, but it can be prolonged up to nine months. If countries will not succeed to find a compromise in investigation, and similar practice will be applied by Ukraine, the USA can unilaterally take measures in regard to Ukraine”, so she commented to Interfax-Ukraine agency the report about beginning of such investigation. According to Iryna Polovets, in particular, such measures as additional duties or non-tariff limits on goods which Ukraine exports to the USA can be introduced.

The lawyer noticed also that the Special section of chapter 301 of the Trade Act 1974 authorizes trade representative of the USA to investigate the cases of gross violation of intellectual property rights. The countries in which the level of protection of intellectual property rights is extremely low, and who violate the rights of holders of intellectual property in the USA, are included into the list of so-called "Priority foreign states" of the annual special report 301. In 2013 Ukraine became the only country which got such status, while China, Thailand, Russia, India, Indonesia became the category of the states, in which the supervision of the observance of intellectual property rights was introduced.

Sanctions for violations of intellectual property rights were already applied in relation to Ukraine in 2001, when the USA found guilty Ukraine in the most production volume of pirate CD and DVD in Europe. Then the USA excluded the country from the list of countries, which was given trade preferences, and introduced additional 100% duty on some groups of goods with the purpose of indemnification of losses of the American companies from a failure to observe the intellectual property rights. As reported, the USA started investigation in the case about recognition of Ukraine the most “pirate:” country.

Within the framework of the case the USA expects to receive comments and remarks from parties involved, and plans to carry out the public proceedings of this case on July 18 of this year. In the annual special report the trade mission of the USA placed Ukraine on first place in the list of countries which are not providing effective legal protection of intellectual property rights. In opinion of authors of the report, Ukraine held the lead in the list “according to its deserts" and went to this during several years. With the volume of use of unlicensed computer software the country exceeds nearly all other countries together included into the list.

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