Posts Tagged ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’

IP Chapter negotiations for Trans-Pacific Partnership

In FTA, Law Reform, USTR, WIPO on 14 April 2012 at 06:46

Inter-sessional negotiations on the intellectual property chapter of a proposed model free trade agreement known as the ‘Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement’ (‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ or ‘TPP’ for short) were held in Santiago, Chile from 9-13 April 2012.

In addition to Australia, parties to the TPP negotiations are Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore (members of the 2006 ‘Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement’), and Malaysia, Peru, the USA, and Vietnam. Canada, Japan and Mexico have also expressed interest in joining the TPP.

The confidential nature of the negotiations [criticised here], and the associated lack of media coverage, mean little information about the current state of the proposed intellectual property chapter is available at this stage. However, a draft of the proposed US text for the IP Chapter was leaked in 2011. Documents from New Zealand and Chile relating to the IP Chapter have also been leaked.

In the absence of official information, news about the TPP negotiations and the IP Chapter is mainly speculative, and critical. For example:

Report by Steven Knievel and Peter Maybarduk on the IP Chapter negotiations in Chile. This was also published on the Huffington Post website.

• A report by Professor Jane Kelsey (University of Auckland) of previous meetings in Santiago in February last year suggested “the US text is reportedly more aggressive than its previous free trade agreements (FTAs), building on the IP chapter in the Australia US FTA. A local IT expert predicted the US would use the TPPA to achieve what it failed to secure in the recently concluded Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).”

• An analysis by Carrie Ellen Sager about the leaked February 2011 US version of the proposed TPP IP Chapter suggests it is significantly more stringent than existing Canadian and Mexican law, and existing NAFTA standards. The same author provides a useful line-by-line comparison between the TPP and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (‘ACTA’)

• An analysis of the impact on Chile’s law

• A blog by Rashmi Rangnath from Public Knowledge on 30 January 2012 stated: “We have heard that the countries negotiating the TPP have not agreed on the details of the IP chapter and are meeting in LA this week to work out their differences.”

TPP Speculation at

The eleventh round of TPP negotiations was held in Melbourne from 1-9 March 2012 and attended by 500 negotiators. The twelfth round is scheduled for Dallas, Texas (USA) from 8-18 May 2012. Stakeholders interested in attending this round can register here.

Relevant documents:

• A list of TPP submissions received by DFAT in Australia

USTR TPP website, and blog on the TPP negotiations

• NZ government website about TPP

Report on the leaked IP Chapter, including links.

• A blog speculating about the IP Chapter

Critique and commentary on the TPP by the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Inc, including media releases from various organisations and links to parliamentary documents and questions.

Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website criticising the proposed IP Chapter and providing links to leaked and other relevant documents

TPP Watch (a New Zealand organisation describing itself as being organized by “concerned unions, groups and individuals formed to organise and support initiatives to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)”)