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BSA Files Special 301 Recommendations Highlighting the Importance of Open Market Access and Intellectual Property Protection

WASHINGTON — February 5, 2016 — BSA | The Software Alliance today highlighted the need for improved global intellectual property protection and enforcement, as well as concerns about growing barriers to trade in its annual Special 301 comments.

“Ensuring open market access—including the free flow of data across border—and effective intellectual property protection is indispensable to allow the software industry to continue innovating and driving the global digital economy,” said BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel. “Unfortunately, many countries are erecting barriers that prevent US software companies from doing business in important markets. These barriers hurt companies’ ability to serve important markets and hamper the economic growth of countries who create such trade barriers. In addition, the amount of unlicensed software being used around the world is valued at over $62 billion, which is simply unacceptable.”

BSA urges the US government to continue leveraging all trade mechanisms it has at its disposal, including Special 301, to persuade trading partners to provide fair and equitable market access for US companies and to improve the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

BSA’s comments, submitted today, call attention to a less commonly addressed aspect of the Special 301, i.e. market access issues faced by companies who rely upon intellectual property protection. The comments also address issues pertaining to intellectual property protection and enforcement.

The submission recommends nine countries be placed on USTR’s Priority Watch List, including Argentina, China, and Russia. In addition, BSA recommends nine countries for placement on USTR’s Watch List, including Brazil, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand.

For a copy of BSA’s full submission, visit http://bsa.org/~/media/Files/Policy/Trade/BSA2016Special301.pdf.

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About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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