The Capture of International Intellectual Property Law Through the U.S. Trade Regime
[Margot Kaminski] Abstract: For years, the United States has included intellectual property (“IP”) law in its free trade agreements. This Article finds that the IP law in recent U.S. free trade agreements differs subtly but significantly from U.S. IP law. These differences are not the result of deliberate government choices, but of the capture of the U.S. trade regime. A growing number of voices has publicly criticized the lack of transparency and democratic accountability in the trade agreement negotiating process. But legal scholarship largely praises the “fast track” trade negotiating system. This Article reorients the debate over the trade negotiating process away from discussions of democratic accountability to focus instead on the problem of regulatory capture. Click here for more.
Call to EU Health Ministers & Pharmaceutical CEOs Regarding Universal Access to Curative Hepatitis C Treatment in the EU and Beyond
Eleven European and worldwide NGOs have issued a “Call to EU Ministers of Health and CEOs of Abbvie, BMS, Gilead, Janssen and Merck/MSD regarding Universal Access to Curative Hepatitis C Treatment in the EU and Beyond.” The letter asks governments and pharmaceutical companies to negotiate with each other to ensure universal access to state of the art treatments. It concludes: “If all bona fides negotiations fail, we believe that, as a last option, countries have the right to use compulsory licences.” Click here for more.
Blue Future: Maude Barlow, Water Rights, Investor Clauses, and Trade Deals
[Matthew Rimmer] Maude Barlow is the chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and the founder of the Blue Planet Project. She is a recipient of Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award, and a Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship. As well as being a noted human rights and trade activist, Barlow is the author of a number of books on water rights – including Blue Gold, Blue Covenant, and Blue Future. She has been particularly vocal on the impact of trade and investment agreements upon water rights. Barlow has been critical of the push to include investor-state dispute settlement clauses in trade agreements – such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP). She has also been concerned by the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) leaked by WikiLeaks. Click here for more.
Inside U.S. Trade: Leaked TPP Paper On Drug IP Landing Zones Shows Extent Of Divisions
[Matthew Schewel] A confidential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating document obtained by Inside U.S. Trade sheds new light on the extent of disagreement that remains over controversial provisions on intellectual property (IP) protection for pharmaceuticals, roughly three months ahead of a November target for producing a substantial outcome in the talks. The two-page document, which outlines potential options, or “landing zones,” for resolving pharmaceutical IP issues, indicates that TPP countries have coalesced around a U.S. proposal under which less-developed members would be able to temporarily provide a lower standard of drug IP protection than more developed members. But it shows that TPP countries are still at odds over the substantive obligations that would be required for each standard, as well as the mechanism for transitioning countries from the lower standard to the higher one. Click here for the full story on Inside U.S. Trade.
See also: TTIP Round Seven To Be Held Sept. 29-Oct. 3 In Washington Area (Link)
Switzerland Continues Work On Changes To Online Copyright Rules
[Catherine Saez] Switzerland is considering the “modernisation” of its copyright law to adapt the rights and obligations of various stakeholders to the “realities” of the internet. The country’s generous exception on private use of downloaded material appears to be preserved in the proposed change but internet service providers might feel the pinch. Click here for the full story on ip-watch.org.
How Many Jobs Does Intellectual Property Create?
[Eli Dourado and Ian Robinson] Abstract: In the past two years, a spate of misleading reports on intellectual property has sought to convince policymakers and the public that implausibly high proportions of US output and employment depend on expansive intellectual property (IP) rights. These reports provide no theoretical or empirical evidence to support such a claim, but instead simply assume that the existence of intellectual property in an industry creates the jobs in that industry. We dispute the assumption that jobs in IP-intensive industries are necessarily IP-created jobs. We first explore issues regarding job creation and the economic efficiency of IP that cut across all kinds of intellectual property. We then take a closer look at these issues across three major forms of intellectual property: trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Click here for the full paper on mercatus.org.