SIA Highlights IP Concerns in Key Markets

Monday, Feb 10, 2014, 5:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

SIA recently submitted written comments for the 2014 Special 301 Review, an annual report issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) addressing the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights.

While SIA’s IP priorities extend to all regions in which semiconductor companies do business, SIA’s Special 301 submission calls particular attention to IP concerns in four specific markets: China, India, Russia and Brazil. SIA’s top IP concerns in these regions include semiconductor counterfeiting, trade secret protection, patent protection, utility model patents, compulsory licensing, and trade distorting preferences for domestic IP. Through the submission, SIA seeks to prompt governments to put more focus on these pressing IP issues.

Semiconductor companies typically spend 15-20 percent of revenue on research and development (R&D), making IP protection of utmost importance. In 2012, U.S. semiconductor companies invested $32 billion in R&D, totaling 22 percent of their total sales. The failure of some foreign governments to adequately protect IP is damaging the semiconductor industry and ultimately will impede the technological progress that has benefited consumers around the world.

Moreover, policies and regulations that require disclosure of IP or include incentives or government procurement preferences for domestically generated IP are creating trade distortions that impede market access. These initiatives and regulatory requirements directly impact the competitiveness of U.S. technology companies doing business in overseas markets.

USTR will hold a hearing on Friday, Feb. 24, and will publish the Special 301 Report on or around April 30.