Das „Office of the United States Trade Representative“ hat in dem diesjährigen Bericht zu Problemen mit Rechten des Geistigen Eigentum (2016 Special 301 Report) 34 Länder auf die Watch List gesetzt.
Sechs der 34 Länder sind aus Europa. Auf der “Priority Watch List” finden sich Russland und die Ukraine. Auf der „Watch List” vier EU- bzw. EFTA-Staaten. Darunter wie im Vorjahr Bulgarien, Griechenland und Rumänien. Mit der Schweiz gibt es aber auch einen Neuzugang.
Dies ist insbesondere der Tatsache zu verdanken, dass die Schweiz bei Rechtsverletzungen in Tauschbörsen keine Rechtsverfolgung ermöglicht und ein beliebtes Land für das Hosting von rechtsverletzenden Internetseiten ist.
Auch Deutschland hat eine Erwähnung in dem Report geschafft. Während sich manche Länder darum kümmern, dass Internetregistrierungen wahrheitsgemäß erfolgen und auch herausgegeben werden, gibt es bei den Top-Level-Domains in Deutschland (wie auch in Dänemark, den Niederlanden, Spanien und der Schweiz) nur unzureichende Lösungsmöglichkeiten bei Markenrechtsverletzungen in den Domainnamen.
Nachfolgend der Auszug zu den vier Ländern auf der Watch List:
“EUROPE AND EURASIA
Bulgaria remains on the Watch List in 2016. The United States continues to have serious concerns regarding Bulgaria’s protection and enforcement of IPR. Internet and cable television piracy in Bulgaria remain particularly troubling. This is due in part to gaps in Bulgaria’s law with respect to the exclusive rights granted to copyright and related right holders, including with respect to copyright and enforcement over the Internet. In addition, Bulgaria’s enforcement of IPR remains a concern. The United States therefore encourages Bulgaria to make the legal reforms necessary to protect IPR adequately and effectively as well as to enhance its enforcement efforts under existing law, which appear to be diminishing, including with respect to online piracy. For example, the division responsible for online piracy enforcement has been reorganized, and its jurisdiction limited, thereby further reducing efforts to combat copyright infringement over the Internet by websites hosted in Bulgaria or operated by Bulgarians. The United States encourages Bulgaria to enhance the role of this IPR enforcement division and to devote the necessary resources to improving the prosecution of IPR cases. For instance, the United States encourages the Prosecutor General to establish specialized IPR prosecutorial units in Sofia and other large cities, appoint a sufficient number of lawyers to these units, provide detailed guidance and training, and closely monitor and analyze their work. The United States also encourages Bulgaria to take steps to improve the efficiency of its judicial system in dealing with IPR cases, and to impose deterrent penalties for those who are convicted of IPR crimes. The United States looks forward to continuing to work with Bulgaria to address these and other issues.
Greece remains on the Watch List in 2016. The United States welcomes the amendments made by Greece to its Code of Civil Procedure (which entered into force on January 1, 2016), and its introduction of draft legislation to address copyright piracy over the Internet (which occurred on December 23, 2015). While the United States welcomes these developments, U.S. concerns
continue with respect to several IPR protection and enforcement issues in Greece. Generally, Greece’s prioritization of IPR protection and enforcement appears to have diminished. The United States understands, for example, that neither the inter-ministerial IPR coordinating committee nor the public-private online piracy working groups met in 2015. Specifically, concerns remain with respect to copyright protection, as well as enforcement issues, including regarding border and criminal enforcement. The United States encourages Greece to implement measures to combat public and private use of infringing software. The United States also encourages Greece to bolster its system for combating piracy over the Internet, including by strengthening its legal regime and enhancing enforcement efforts. With respect to customs enforcement, the United States urges Greece to enact official storage time limits for goods detained at Greek ports and to ensure the timely destruction of these goods, as well as to consider joining most EU member states in adopting a policy that allows for the inspection and detention of counterfeit goods in transit. Finally, the United States urges Greece to address persistent problems with criminal enforcement delays and reports of judges’ reluctance to impose deterrent sentences and penalties on large-scale infringers. The United States looks forward to continuing to work with Greece to address these and other issues.
Romania remains on the Watch List in 2016. While the United States welcomes working-level cooperation in Romania between industry and law enforcement authorities, including prosecutors and police, concerns continue with respect to the lack of priority Romania appears to place on IPR enforcement. The United States encourages Romania to enhance its IPR enforcement activities, including in the following ways. The United States urges Romania to develop a national IPR enforcement strategy through the inter-ministerial Intellectual Property Working Group, which would include the appointment of a high-level intellectual property enforcement coordinator, responsible for directing the development and implementation of the national strategy. Romania should also fully staff and fund the IPR Coordination Department in the General Prosecutor’s Office, and encourage the Department to prioritize its investigation and prosecution of significant IPR cases. Romania should also provide adequate resources (including necessary training), high-priority support, and instructions to prioritize IPR cases for all specialized police, customs, and local law enforcement. The United States looks forward to continuing to work with Romania to address these and other issues.
Switzerland is placed on the Watch List in 2016. Generally speaking, Switzerland broadly provides high-levels of IPR protection and enforcement in its territory. Switzerland makes important contributions to promoting such protection and enforcement internationally, including in bilateral and multilateral contexts, which are welcomed by the United States. However, the decision to place Switzerland on the Watch List this year is premised on U.S. concerns regarding specific difficulties in Switzerland’s system of online copyright protection and enforcement. Six years have elapsed since the issuance of a decision by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which has been implemented to essentially deprive copyright holders in Switzerland of the means to enforce their rights against online infringers; enforcement is a critical element of providing meaningful IPR protection. Since 2010, right holders report that Switzerland has become an increasingly popular host country for infringing websites, as indicated in the 2015 Notorious Markets List. The United States welcomes the steps taken by Switzerland in response to this serious concern, including the creation of stakeholder roundtables to develop recommendations to address these concerns and the introduction of draft copyright legislation. However, more remains to be done and the United States continues to encourage the Swiss government to move forward expeditiously with concrete and effective measures that address copyright piracy in an appropriate and effective manner, including through legislation, administrative action, consumer awareness, public education, and voluntary stakeholder initiatives. The United States looks forward to cooperating with Switzerland to address these and other intellectual property-related challenges.”