The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Intellectual Property Chapter published by WikiLeaks reveals that after years of negotiations, the United States still seeks to impose medical procedure patents on Asian and Latin American countries. All eleven other negotiating countries oppose the proposal. Medical procedure patents raise healthcare costs. Health providers, including surgeons, could be liable for the methods they use to treat patients. Essentially, except for when a surgeon uses her bare hands, surgical methods would be patentable under the U.S. proposal.
While U.S. law immunizes certain care providers from infringement liability, the U.S. TPP proposal fails to include these safeguards, risking yet more serious consequences for TPP negotiating countries.