Below is the abstract from the full paper, coauthored with Hannah Brennan and Peter Maybarduk, which was published last week in the Yale Journal of International Law. The full paper is here.
On October 16, 2014, WikiLeaks released a complete draft of the Intellectual Property Chapter of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The TPP is a controversial free trade agreement being negotiated behind closed doors by officials from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. The United States’ most recent proposals for the TPP’s intellectual property chapter would require the majority of the negotiating parties to significantly alter the scope of their intellectual property laws—changes that would raise drug and crop costs, therein restricting access to affordable medicines and foodstuffs. For those nations that have already aligned their domestic laws with the TPP’s intellectual property provisions, this agreement would further ossify detrimental standards. This feature examines one piece of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter: the text’s provisions on patentability requirements. We argue that the patentability requirements set forth in the TPP could seriously harm public health and local farming practices in the negotiating countries.