The Cato Institute has released a report that “presents a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) from a free trader’s perspective.” It notes that TPP is really more of a “managed” or “freer” trade agreement than an agreement that really promotes “free trade” in a classic sense. It finds that overall, the “terms of the TPP are net liberalizing,” but that some of the individual chapters – including the intellectual property chapter – are actually “protectionist.”
Abstract: This paper contains the outline, as well as the introductory and concluding chapters of a monograph on the protection of intellectual property (IP) in the wider context of international law (OUP, 2016). Against the background of the debate about norm relations within and between different rule systems in international law, the book construes a holistic view of international IP law as an integral part of the international legal system.
The first part sets out the theoretical foundation for such a holistic view by offering several methodological frameworks for the analysis of norm relations in international law.
Medicins Sans Frontiers press release, Link
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is currently under consideration by the US and eleven other Pacific Rim nations: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement is slated to further expand its membership, potentially to all 21 Asia Pacific APEC nations.
Abstract: The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a large regional trade agreement involving 12 countries. It was signed in principle in February 2016 but has not yet been ratified in any of the participating countries. The TPP provisions place a range of constraints on how governments regulate the pharmaceutical sector and set prices for medicines. This article presents a prospective policy analysis of the possible effects of the TPP on these two points in Canada and Australia.
The New Zealand Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has posted draft legislation to bring its law into compliance with the Trans Pacific Partnership, as well comments on the legislation, all of which are available here. The following excerpt from the comments submitted by Google New Zealand focuses on the importance of a “flexible and dynamic” copyright exception.
Google believes that in order to promote innovation and creativity, New Zealand should adopt copyright exceptions that allow the market, new technologies and new creativity to evolve. New Zealand needs not only technologically neutral copyright protections, but also dynamic, technology neutral exceptions that allow new, legitimate uses of copyright and services to evolve as technology evolves.
Abstract: Commissioned for the CEIPI-ICTSD Publication Series, this article discusses the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), with a focus on intellectual property issues. The partnership is currently being negotiated among Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
[Anubha Sinha, Centre for Internet and Society, Link (CC-BY)] ] The Centre for Internet and Society sent a letter to Members of Parliament on July 27, 2016 to appeal to re-examine the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
To The Hon’ble Chief Minister / Member of Parliament: We are writing to you to draw your attention to the concerns related to India’s engagement in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a mega-regional trade agreement (MRTA), currently under negotiation. We write as part of a forum on free trade agreements (FTAs), which is a network of over 80 civil society organisations and concerned individuals from across India. It came together in 2008 to analyse the impacts of India’s FTAs on people’s lives & livelihoods.
The following is an excerpt from the introduction to Private Patents and Public Health, by Ellen ‘t Hoen. The full book is available online under a Creative Commons License here.
Millions of people around the world do not have access to the medicines they need to treat disease or alleviate suffering. Strict patent regimes interfere with widespread access to medicines by creating monopolies that maintain medicines prices well beyond the reach of those who need them.
The magnitude of the AIDS crisis in the late nineties brought this to the public’s attention when millions of people in developing countries died from an illness for which medicines existed, but were not available or affordable. Faced with an unprecedented health crisis—8,000 people dying daily—the public health community launched an unprecedented global effort that eventually resulted in the large-scale availability of quality generic HIV medicines and a steady scale-up in access to those medicines. This has allowed nearly 13 million people to lead longer, healthier lives. However, trends in international intellectual property law could impact many of the policy tools used to scale up HIV treatment.
Submissions are due by 5pm on Monday, 8 August 2016
Consultation document (PDF)
On 11 July 2016, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released a consultation document seeking feedback on proposed regulations to implement the patent term extension provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill. The Bill will, when it enters into force, amend the Patents Act 2013 to provide for patent term extensions for:
- Unreasonable delays in patent grant; and
- Unreasonable curtailment of the effective patent term as a result of the Medsafe approval process.
[TWN, Link] Letter sent by 38 Civil Society Groups to India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Lao, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea
As civil society organisations concerned with access to medicines, to educational resources, to environmentally sound technologies (ESTs), and to other public goods and cultural creations and further concerned with farmers’ rights, food security and industrial development, we call on countries negotiating the RCEP agreement and to protect the flexibilities available under the WTO TRIPS agreement for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
[Kyla Tienhaara and Belinda Townsend, East Asia Forum, Link] On 2 May 2016, US President Barack Obama published an op-ed in the Washington Post in an attempt to bolster support for the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP has become a political football in the US election primaries, with all of the leading candidates for President expressing their opposition to it.
Obama was alluding to the latest round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), recently held in Perth. This agreement includes China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, India and the 10 countries that make up ASEAN. Obama seems to be concerned that RCEP won’t mirror the TPP’s stance on issues like intellectual property protection.
[Joint Letter Signed by 122 Experts – PDF in English and Spanish, with Signatures] Dear President Santos: We are lawyers, academics and other experts specializing in fields including intellectual property, trade and health, writing to affirm that international law and policy support Colombia´s right to issue compulsory licenses on patents in order to promote public interests including access to affordable medicines.