What effect will the TPP have on your country?
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

What effect will the TPP have on your country?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been finalised. Is the IP chapter all that it's cracked up to be?

Pres Obama
US President Barack Obama has made the TPP a priority as his term in office winds down

We dive deeper into the issues in this month's cover story, as well as what the IP chapter of the TPP will mean for each of the 12 countries. It is difficult to give a pithy summary of the IP chapter, given that it is 74 pages long, but it is fair to say that many of its provisions may be categorised as "TRIPS-Plus" and carry a strong US influence. Both supporters and detractors have used similar terms to describe the TPP, though whether that is a positive of negative thing really depends on who is speaking.

That said, there are still several provisions that do not reflect US law. One example is data exclusivity for biologics. US negotiators had originally pushed for 12 years of exclusivity, while developing countries and even some advanced economies like Australia drew the line at five. The final result, which is either eight years of protection or five years plus other protection and "market circumstances", is a victory for the countries pushing for a shorter period. Furthermore, for countries that already offer five years of exclusivity, there is likely no need to change the law at all as it is believed that time-consuming procedures such as securing market approval, along with the five years, is enough to satisfy the requirement, even if the protection period is in reality less than eight years.

That said, many provisions reflect US-style laws. Copyright protections is one area, where the TPP calls for a life plus 70 years term of protection identical to US law. Several countries are still at the TRIPS level of life plus 50 and will have to amend accordingly. The treaty also would require DMCA-style safe harbours for ISPs. Similarly, several practitioners from around the world say that their respective countries will have to amend their laws to include a US-style patent grace period.

The other noteworthy aspect of the TPP is what specific countries will have to do to comply. Because the treaty was designed to include a large group of countries at various levels of economic development, this means that the effect will be very different for each country. While more advanced economies like the US will have to do little if any to comply with the treaty, smaller countries such as Brunei may this as a chance to revise and update laws that have not been changed in a long while. And to throw another wrinkle into it, several of the countries, such as Singapore, already have free-trade agreements with the US, meaning that theirIP laws are already largely in line with the TPP.

For more on the TPP, check out the full-length story here. And as always, we welcome your comments and look forward to bringing you more coverage as countries move to debate, ratify and implement the treaty.



more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP practitioner about their life and career
Sources debate the implications of an opinion by Delaware’s chief judge Colm Connolly that lambasted the NPE IP Edge
Five partners reveal how delays in examining trademark applications are affecting their advice to clients and how they pitch new work
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Partners at Quinn Emanuel explain how walkie-talkie and real-estate analogies helped them win over a jury at the Eastern District of Texas
The heads of Malaysian firm HHQ’s new technology practice group say they can be frontline advisers on the intersection between AI, blockchain, and IP
Darren Jiron, Finnegan’s managing partner in London, discusses the firm’s growth plans and misconceptions about US firm culture
The EMEA region research cycle has commenced - do not miss this opportunity to nominate your work from 2023!
A former partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, which voted to dissolve in October, has joined McCarter & English
As ChatGPT celebrates its first birthday, we are still grappling with a multitude of IP concerns