Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tbilisi Trademark and Copyright Disputes Workshop

Tbilisi, Georgia CTP was pleased to provide on-site support for the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP – Dept. of Commerce) for their recent Tbilisi program on the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the Republic of Georgia. This IPR program, intended for judges, lawyers and journalists, was conducted in partnership with the Georgia Copyright Association (GCA) and the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia, a/k/a the “Sakpatenti”.

CLDP in Georgia photoThe workshop was organized into two segments.  On June 7th and 8th the title program “The Litigation and Adjudication of Trademark and Copyright Disputes Workshop” was attended by 31 Georgian judges and lawyers.  On June 9th, the second phase consisted of a seminar titled “Intellectual Property Training for Journalists” which was attended by 27 members of the Georgian Media.

In the past 3 years, CTP has helped CLDP conduct legal workshops in dozens of countries.  We work with local experts to provide comprehensive, affordable logistical and event management solutions, enabling the CLDP experts to focus on the program details and relationship building with foreign counterparts.  Typically our work entails transportation, lodging, venue, interpretation, conference materials and on site management, anything required by CLDP to conduct a smooth and effective program.

A detailed description of the Tbilisi program is available on the CLDP website:

http://cldp.doc.gov/programs/cldp-in-action/details/1152

West African Training Center Gaining Momentum

June RTC WorkshopIn just the few short months since CTP opened the Regional Training Center (RTC) in Accra, the dividends are already appearing for the host Ghanaian government, the neighboring regional countries, and the funding agency: International Narcotics & Law Enforcement (INL) within the State Department.  Their recent post on the INL web site gives encouraging details of specific progress and ongoing efforts.  See link below.

Anti Corruption Poster in GhanaIn related news, CTP is receiving numerous requests from other agencies to utilize the RTC, all part of the West African Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI).

Full text of the INL post can be found at:  http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nwsltr/2013/208049.htm#article1

DTAG Meeting Materials Provide ECR Insight

DDTC has released the minutes and presentations from their busy May 9th DTAG meeting. You have to sift but there is lots of reform-related information provided. In her introductory remarks, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Beth McCormick, told attendees to expect new Cat.VI, VII, XIII, XV, XX definitions before July.  (XV details have already been released.) There were brief reports also regarding the Australian Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty and the U.N Arms Trade Treaty.  Formal presentations provided detail on important working groups: Technical Data Harmonization, Fundamental Research, and Cloud Computing.  See links below to meeting details:

Category XV Reforms: Different Rationale but Similar Beneficial Result

Satelite in spaceFirst, the news:  DDTC has just proposed to revise Category XV (Spacecraft Systems and Related Articles) of the USML to describe more precisely the articles warranting control. The revised definition of “defense service” is to include, among other things, details on the furnishing of assistance for certain spacecraft related activities. 78 Fed. Reg. 31444. Meanwhile, across town, BIS published proposed rules describing how these articles would be controlled on the CCL using new ECCNs: 9A515, 9B515, 9D515, and 9E515. For both these changes, interested persons have until July 8, 2013, to submit comments. 78 Fed. Reg. 31431

Now, the relevant back story:  The history of these Category XV items is unique. While the items in the new “600 series” were on the USML because they were/are on the Wassenaar military list or because they have inherently military applications, many of the Category XV items were never on the Wassenaar ML and do not have inherently military applications. Instead, they are there because, in 1999, Congress chose to express its ire about some serious leaks of satellite technology by legislating that essentially all civilian satellite-related items, whether or not related to the military, would henceforth be classified on the USML rather than the CCL. This resulted in considerable industry frustration for years.  Congress has finally backed off of this and eliminated this exception to the Administration’s classification authority, and the Administration has returned control over non-military satellites and technology to the CCL.

These non-military Category XV items won’t move to the 600 series since that would again subject these items to military-like controls. Instead, a new 515 series has been created to accommodate these items. This does not presage a procession of new series in the coming months. A situation similar to Category XV should not recur in other categories because no others include items that are there for essentially non-relevant reasons.

 

BIS Provides Two Web-Based Decision Tools

BIS is ramping up its outreach efforts to raise awareness and solicit feedback on the export control reform measures scheduled to go into effect on October 15.  Regular webinars are being held on Wednesdays to present different aspects of the reform and to field industry questions.

On May 15, we listened to the session regarding the two new web-based decision tools that will assist users in understanding and applying the Commerce Control List [CCL] Order of Review (Supplement No. 4 to EAR Part 774) and the new “Specially Designed” Definition (EAR Sec. 772.1), both essential for exporters to classify their products.

The CCL Order of Review Decision Tool (hereafter “the ORD Tool”) will assist users in understanding the new 600 series which has been dedicated for military items which will be moving from the USML to the CCL and be licensed by BIS.

  • The ORD Tool helps users identify the logical steps to follow when reviewing the CCL (Supplement No. 1 to EAR Part 774) and identifying items subject to the EAR.
  • The ORD Tool also provides links to reference info and guidance for how to classify items in light of the addition of the 600 series and the new definition of “specially designed.”
  • The ORD Tool uses a series of questions that enable exporters to determine:
    • Is it subject to the EAR?
    • Is it “specially designed?”  If uncertain, a link is provided to the next tool.
    • Does it meet the criteria of a 600 series ECCN?

The second tool, the “Specially Designed” Decision Tool (the SD Tool), assists users in determining if an item will be designated as “specially designed” using the new BIS definition.

  • The SD tool helps users identify the steps to follow when reviewing the Commerce Control List to determine if an item is specially designed or excluded from control under that particular entry.
  • The SD tool asks a logical series of questions directly related to the relevant sections of the CFR about the parameters for specially designed components, breaking them down into Yes or No questions.
  • Useful guidance is provided that enables users to reference relevant documents.

Bottom Line: Both tools are good, but users need a degree of familiarity with the vernacular and logic of the EAR to utilize them with confidence. Also, these tools  may not be flexible enough in the programming to answer the tough, specific questions that often arise.  The formulaic responses may not address the technical and legal nuances fully or help users understand, and navigate through, the fine lines between various ECCNs.

Link to the Decision Tools:

http://beta-www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/decision-tree-tools

Link to the BIS Webinars:

http://beta-www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/about-bis/newsroom/export-control-reform-news/8-bis/33-export-control-reform-ecr