The U.S. is planning a pre-term evaluation of sanction withdrawal – measures which were introduced due to the inadequate protection of intellectual property rights in the country.  This fact was reported by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.  According to the Embassy report, the U.S. commercial representation declared that a pre-term analysis of the "List-301" program regarding Ukraine will take place in 2005. 

"List-301" (from article 301 of the Commercial Act of the U.S.) is a list of countries, which, according to the U.S., inadequately protect intellectual property rights.  A review of the list takes place every April, however, according to the Embassy report, a pre-term analysis can be carried out at any time in response to changes that may take place.  The U.S. intends to investigate the amendments in the legislation of Ukraine as regards the optical information carriers (laser discs). 

The U.S. also intends to observe the control of pirating of the optical information carriers via the appropriate laws.  "The U.S. Embassy positively regards the recent efforts on the part of the Verkhovna Rada to initiate legislative amendments, which would eliminate the faults of the current laws concerning the licensing of optical discs," commented John Hurbst, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. 

According to the Ambassador, a pre-term evaluation of "List-301" can be considered progress in this regard, without having to wait until April of 2006.  At the same time, Hurbst emphasized that while the amendments to the law are not approved, there are no preventative measures in effect to protect from illegal manufacture and distribution of optical discs. 

In April 2001, the U.S. rid Ukraine of a favorable status, which allows the country to enjoy commercial advantages in trade with the U.S.  In addition, in January of 2002, the U.S. imposed sanctions in the amount of $75 million on imports from Ukraine. 

As was reported by ForUm on April 29, the U.S. has continued the imposition of sanctions due to the inadequate protection of intellectual property rights.  Ukraine is the only country in the "Priority" group (those that are in need of special monitoring due to breaches).  This year there are fifty-two countries on the U.S. "List-301," which includes EU (as a single country).


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