[Posted by Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan on the International Economic Law and Policy Blog (CC BY-NC 2.5)] Last week, Luke Peterson reported that the U.S. based pharma corporation Eli Lilly has put Canada on notice of its intent to submit a claim to arbitration under NAFTA Chapter 11 following the invalidation of some of its patents by Canadian courts (http://www.iareporter.com/articles/20121203_2). The Notice of 7 November 2012 is now available on Andrew Newcombe’s website (http://italaw.com/cases/1625). It reveals an interesting new interface between international IP and investment law.
Excerpt from a Fact Sheet from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
Click here for the full Fact Sheet
Eli Lilly and Company has initiated formal proceedings under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to attack Canada’s standards for granting drug patents, claiming that the denial of a medicine patent is an expropriation of its property rights granted by the agreement.
Yesterday, Mexico was invited to enter the TPP negotiations. According to the USTR press release: “The Administration will shortly notify Congress of its intent to include Mexico in the TPP negotiations. The notification will trigger a 90-day consultation period with Congress on U.S. negotiating objectives with respect to Mexico. USTR also will publish a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments.”
Today, Canadian Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada will join the TPP negotiations as well, (see Reuters story). Harper said that “Opening new markets and creating new business opportunities leads to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.”
Another round of TPP negotiations on intellectual property is underway this week in Chile, and two additional countries are looking to get in on the action: Mexico and Canada. However, both countries may have trouble getting their citizenry to agree to the IP provisions if they remain in their current form. To determine how much each country would have to change its laws to comply with TPP requirements, PIJIP asked me to compare the TPP’s leaked IP chapter with the existing law in each country, as well as the countries’ obligations under NAFTA.
Unsurprisingly, the TPP provides far more stringent limitations than NAFTA, and would require major legal changes by both countries.