Full Trans-Pacific Partnership Text Revealed, Includes Extensive Intellectual Property Provisions

On November 5, the Obama Administration released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to the public. This twelve-nation trade agreement has been under negotiation for years, with most of the specific provisions kept from the public eye. The completed deal now faces an uphill battle obtaining Congressional approval in the United States.

Included in the agreement is a section aimed at bringing non-US countries in line with US intellectual property law. These provisions require signing countries to, for example, require Internet Service Providers to remove infringing material, provide for criminal penalties in trade secret law, and grant patent applicants a twelve-month grace period before filing. Past experience has shown that US rights-owners have a difficult time enforcing intellectual property rights abroad. The core idea of this agreement is to ensure that IP owners are treated equally across all twelve countries.

The full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is available here from the US Trade Representative. The intellectual property provisions are contained in Chapter 18. Jackie Calmes, Trans-Pacific Partnership Text Released, Waving Green Flag for Debate, New York Times (Nov. 5, 2015),http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/business/international/trans-pacific-trade-deal-tpp-vietnam-labor-rights.html?_r=0. Ryan Davis, TPP Aims To Spread US-Style IP Protections Overseas, Law360 (Nov. 5, 2015, 10:04 PM),http://www.law360.com/articles/723789/tpp-aims-to-spread-us-style-ip-protections-overseas.