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As a result of the 2013 Special 301 Review, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) designates Ukraine as a priority foreign country (PFC). This designation is the culmination of several years of growing concern over widespread IP theft, including the growing entrenchment of IPR infringement that is facilitated by government actors.
During intensive bilateral engagement, Ukraine has made a series of commitments to make specific improvements in the areas of government use of pirated software, nontransparent administration of royalty collecting societies, and online piracy. Notably, Ukraine and the United States agreed to an IPR Action Plan in 2010, which Ukraine publicized in 2011.
Implementation of this plan was the subject of intensive bilateral engagement in 2012, including through the Trade and Investment Council meeting. Unfortunately, the situation has continued to deteriorate on each of the issues identified below. Recent efforts on the side of the Government of Ukraine have not gone far enough to demonstrate a commitment to resolving long-standing problems.
The United States has repeatedly conveyed its concern about software piracy in Ukraine. The Government of Ukraine acknowledges that a significant percentage of the software used by the government itself is unlicensed. The most recent industry data identify Ukraine as having a higher software piracy rate than almost all other countries on the Priority Watch List. Ukraine has acknowledged the need for the government to use legal software, and has issued repeated official documents calling for such legalization as far back as 2002, and most recently, in April 2013.