Mar 212013

US-EUIn this year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama announced talks for a Transatlantic Trade and   Investment Partnership with the European Union. This agreement will likely include provisions on intellectual property (IP), which are often controversial . If IP provisions are included, they will likely reflect language in existing treaties. Below is a comparison of language between two of the most substantive and recent free trade agreements (FTAs) adopted by the US and the EU for one controversial area of IP: liability for internet service providers (ISP) for infringing content.

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Dec 022012

Tobacco giant, Philip-Morris, brought actions this year under investor-State arbitration mechanisms in investment treaties to challenge laws limiting (in Uruguay) or prohibiting (in Australia) the display of its trademarks in tobacco packaging. This has caused the Australian government to take a strong stance against any investor-State arbitration provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs), including exemptions from the proposed investor-state settlement provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), currently being negotiated.  However, a closer look reveals a broad collection of older treaties that do not contain exceptions in modern treaties that could have avoided this situation. As a multinational-enterprise, Philip-Morris has attempted to evade these exceptions by going through subsidiaries to bring claims under more favorable treaties. This reveals that Australia’s new stance against investor-State arbitration may do nothing to prevent similar claims being brought in the future.

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Nov 202012

Matthew Webb

The success of the Model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) process in advancing transparency in the investment policy-making at the international level provides a practical and achievable framework for other areas on trade.  Though far from perfect, the Model BIT has improved transparency for the highly controversial area of investment, while still allowing the US to successfully negotiate a multitude of BITs and investment chapters.

Because trade policies involving intellectual property rights (IPR) are also very controversial, the Model BIT framework could be used to create model IPR Agreements and chapters to increase the legitimacy of international policy making in this area. Continue reading »


Chilean Senators Warn Against Linkage Provisions in Patent Legislation

 Posted by on April 16, 2012  Comments Off on Chilean Senators Warn Against Linkage Provisions in Patent Legislation
Apr 162012

The Chilean press reports that Senators Fulvio Rossi and Francisco Chahuán have expressed their opposition to legislation in the Congress that would prohibit health regulators from granting marketing approval to medicines which are under patent without the acquiescence of the patent holder.  This “linkage” between patents and health regulators would implement an obligation of the requirements of the US-Chile Free Trade Agreement, but the Senators warn it would block access to generic medicines, and could raise prices on drugs an average of 40%.  Continue reading »


As Colombian Senate Debates FTA Implementation Bill, Anonymous Takes Down Its Website

 Posted by on March 29, 2012  Comments Off on As Colombian Senate Debates FTA Implementation Bill, Anonymous Takes Down Its Website
Mar 292012

The Colombian draft bill for the implementation of the Colombia-US Free Trade Agreement obligations is creating strong reaction from Colombian society.  Not only copyrights scholars oppose to this draft; the group Anonymous Colombia has unplugged the official website of the Senate to show its rejection to this draft. The Senate website has been unplugged since March 27.

For more information, see Comunicado Anonymous Colombia Sobre (a video from Anonymous), and the news story: “La nueva Ley Lleras recarga el ciberespacio de protestas” by Perla Toro Castaño.