The Office of the United States Trade Representative has released its annual "Special 301" report. This yearly report is the result of a review of the state of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement of the U.S.'s trading partners around world, and it is especially relevant in fashion law because it specifies which countries raise concerns due to their intellectual property practices. All the usual suspects regularly make the list, such as China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, for online piracy, counterfeiting, ineffective systems for protecting against unfair commercial use of U.S. IP rights, etc.
This year, Spain and Bulgaria are no longer on the report's "Watch List," which means they are providing for stronger standards for the protection and enforcement of IPR than years prior. The countries that are currently on the 2013 Report's "Priority Watch List" include Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, and Venezuela. In this year’s Report, Canada is one of 30 countries on the "Watch List," along with such countries as Israel, Egypt, Mexico and Brazil. Lastly, Ukraine has been named a Priority Foreign Country, marking the first time in seven years that a country is listed in that category. Its placement on the list is due to a "severe deterioration of enforcement" in pirated software and piracy over the Internet.