crsThe Congressional Research Service has released a report on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in which it discusses “selected key TTIP negotiating issues.” It predicts that regulatory talks will be among the most difficult topics for negotiators, stating that “there is debate about whether a comprehensive agreement on regulatory issues can be reached.” The report suggests that negotiations over “Rules” topics such as intellectual property and investment may be easier overall, but that within them “debates about certain rules may become more prominent.”

Click here for the full CRS report.

Regarding intellectual property, the report warns that “Stakeholders on both sides could raise other issues about how to balance IPR protection and enforcement with other public policy goals, such as access to medicines in developing countries and the free flow of information.” It notes that these issues led to controversy about Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and this agreement “has not yet entered into force.” It also highlights the different approaches to geographical indications taken on either side of the Atlantic, and mentions that TTIP could be a vehicle for new rules regarding trade secrets.

Though not addressed in the CRS report, documents leaked from the EU have shown interest in the inclusion of two controversial areas within the scope of intellectual property negotiations:  internet service provider liability, and the approval of biosimilars (which would likely involve rules on data exclusivity).