Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: November 2012

10 - The intellectual property chapter in the TPP



All intellectual property can function as a form of trade barrier, because intellectual property rights can be used to prevent imports of goods or services. However, because intellectual property can also be welfare enhancing, TRIPS recognizes that some intellectual property protection is consistent with liberalizing trade. However, too much intellectual property protection is almost never trade enhancing, it is protectionist. Since TRIPS came into force, the ratcheting-up of intellectual property norms, through preferential trade agreements (PTAs), has been controversial. The potential scope of the intellectual property chapter in the TPP is even more controversial. At the core of the controversy are the leaked texts of the US proposal, which seeks a level of intellectual property protection that is much more extensive than TRIPS, and even more extensive than other intellectual property chapters in PTAs to which the US is a party, such as AUSFTA and KORUS.

In contrast to the US proposal, the Chilean and the New Zealand proposed texts, which were also leaked, call for an affirmation of the TRIPS Agreement standards. Those texts also propose a better articulation of the availability of intellectual property exceptions and flexibilities. The New Zealand text also proposes certain protections of traditional knowledge and a more detailed articulation of the objectives and purposes of intellectual property protection in a trade-related setting. Peru supports greater protection of traditional knowledge and biological and genetic resources.

Faunce, T.Townsend, R. 2010 Kelsey, No Ordinary Deal – Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade AgreementNew ZealandBridget Williams Books
Faunce, T.Johnston, K.Bambrick, H. 2006 The Transtasman Therapeutic Products Authority: Potential AUSFTA Impacts on Safety and Cost effectiveness: Regulation for Medicines and Medical Devices in New ZealandVictoria University of Wellington Law Review 37 365
Frankel, S. 2008 Buckley, R.Lo, V.I.Boulle, L.Challenges to Multilateral Trade: The Impact of Bilateral, Preferential and Regional AgreementsThe NetherlandsWolters Kluwer
Ginsburg, J.C. 2002 How Copyright Got a Bad Name for ItselfColumbia Journal of Law and the Arts 26 1
Ostergard, R. 2007 Gervais, D.Intellectual Property, Trade and Development: Strategies to Optimize Economic Development in a TRIP-Plus EraNew YorkOxford University Press
Smith, K. 2002 What is the Knowledge Economy? Knowledge Intensity and Distributed Knowledge
Trans-Pacific Partnership 2011
Trans-Pacific Partnership 2011
UNCTAD-ICSTD 2005 Resource Book on TRIPS and DevelopmentCambridge University Press