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TPP and IP: A quick look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership and intellectual property

For most businesses, protecting intellectual property is a global issue. Whether fighting off unauthorized manufacturers, preventing counterfeit goods from brandishing a logo, stopping sales of bootleg movies, to handling website disputes, the everyday job of protecting intellectual property can extend far beyond the borders of the United States. Protection can involve a number of different laws.

Recently, news has been buzzing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is an agreement between the countries of Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, and New Zealand regarding various aspects of trade. The TPP is not US law yet, as it needs to be voted on by Congress. One of the aspects addressed by the TPP is the treatment of intellectual property between the twelve member countries.

Many intellectual property issues are addressed by Chapter 18 of the TPP. As of the date of this blog post, the following provides an overview of some of the intellectual property provisions of the TPP:

  • Regarding patents, the agreement includes provisions regarding patent standards (including grace period for public disclosures), cooperation and transparency for the patenting process, promotion of generic medicine development, and public health protections.
  • Regarding trademarks, the TPP clarifies registration and protection for trademarks, addresses protection of geographical indicators, and harmonizes trademark procedures.
  • For copyrights, the agreement addresses protection standards, exceptions, and internet service provider safe harbor protection.
  • The TPP also addresses trade secrets, including criminal procedures and penalties for trade secret theft.
  • In addition, various intellectual property enforcement provisions are provided.

While these topics list a few of the provisions of the TPP addressing intellectual property rights, the full text of Chapter 18 can be found provided by the White House at the following link:


DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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