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Meeting of the Central Asia Regional Expert Level on Intellectual Property Rights


On September 17-19, 2019, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, CLDP brought together government officials from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan with advisors from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), USPTO, and ITA for the first meeting of the Central Asia Expert Level Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights. The program began with presentations from each country’s delegation regarding recent developments in laws and regulations promoting intellectual property rights protection in their respective countries. The program thereafter focused on the “Special 301 Report,” highlighting the process by which USTR prepares the report, and underscoring weaknesses in intellectual property rights protections in Central Asia, according to input form U.S. and international businesses. The areas underscored at the meeting were lack of enforcement, gaps in copyright law, damages from counterfeit trade, and the risks posed by government use of unlicensed software. Outcomes from the meeting included recommendations CLDP will raise at the October 2019 meeting of the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council regarding (1) ways in which Central Asian governments can participate in the Special 301 Report process going forward; and (2) the need to focus, at the Group’s next meeting, on interagency and public-private cooperation in furthering intellectual property rights protections. 

Areas of Expertise