The governments of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Peru, Vietnam and the United States are negotiating a multilateral free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The negotiations are being conducted with considerable secrecy, even though they address many issues of great interest to the general public. The Agreement will cover many topics, including intellectual property rights, the pricing of pharmaceutical drugs, and the rights of investors to sue states over policies and actions that impact their investments. USTR has indicated that Mexico and Canada will be joining the negotiations later this year. The next round of negotiation takes place in San Diego, California from July 2-10, 2012. USTR will be hosting a Direct Stakeholder Engagement event on Monday, July 2, 2012.
The USTR web page on the negotiation is: http://www.ustr.gov/tpp/. The KEI web page on the negotiation is /tpp, and contains links to many documents and the web pages of other NGOs following the negotiation.
On June 26, 2012, KEI sent a letter to USTR addressing copyright, the primary focus of intellectual property chapter discussions during the San Diego round.
A copy of the letter, which is available here, addresses the following points:
- The TPPA IPR text is too restrictive as regards temporary reproductions
- The TPPA IPR text should not ban parallel of importation of copyrighted works
- The TPPA should not legislate the term of copyright protection.
- The TPPA should not create a separate cause of action for circumvention of a TPM
- The TPPA should not require “substantial evidence” for legitimate limitations and exceptions to TPMs
- Robust user rights are needed for the placeholders for limitations and exceptions
- TPPA should not propose TRIPS plus damages for copyright
- KEI Comments on the General Provisions and the treaties to which parties must sign