New Special 301 Report and Notorious Markets List Highlight Markets That Inadequately Protect Copyright and Trademarks
WASHINGTON, DC – April 26, 2019 – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today commended the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on its annual “Special 301” Report and Notorious Markets List. The Special 301 report highlights shortcomings in the protection and enforcement of U.S. copyrights, trademarks and patents as well as deficiencies in market access for U.S. intellectual property-intensive industries in trading partner countries.
The USTR and other federal government agencies surveyed, assessed, and ranked over three dozen countries that present significant concerns when it comes to intellectual property protection and enforcement, assigning them to either the Watch List or the Priority Watch List in the Special 301 Report. The U.S. interagency also noted online and physical marketplaces around the world that promote mass infringement of copyright and counterfeiting of trademarks in the Notorious Markets List.
“Intellectual property protection and enforcement enhances consumer experiences by protecting and enhancing industry innovation,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, acting president and CEO of the ESA, which represents the U.S. video game industry. “The ESA applauds the USTR and the U.S. government intellectual property interagency for protecting incentives that propel video game publishers and contribute to the U.S. economy.”
A growing concern for the video game industry is the unauthorized sales of in-game digital items, where cheat software, like bots and hacks, enable the collection and aggregation of virtual goods and the modification of a game to allow an advantage for the player. The rise of unauthorized digital goods and cheat software negatively affects video game companies and consumers by diverting significant revenue away from video game developers and publishers. It also increases the threat of consumer fraud, including through account takeovers via phishing or theft of payment information connected to in-app purchases.
The ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software companies, including conducting business and consumer research; providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property, and technology/e-commerce issues; managing a global content protection program; owning and operating E3; and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, visit the ESA’s website or follow the ESA on Twitter @theESA.