[Ip-health] A few news articles on leaked NZ TPP IP paper
peter.maybarduk at essentialinformation.org
Thu Dec 9 02:06:52 PST 2010
New Zealand “challenge to Big Pharma monopoly”
WORLD NEWS | DECEMBER 08, 2010
New Zealand has issued a proposal to its trading partners which
constitutes “a direct challenge to the monopoly interests of major
pharmaceutical corporations,” says a leading advocacy group.
In a paper presented at the fourth negotiating round of the Trans
Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement (FTA) involving eight
Asia-Pacific nations and the US, being held in Auckland, New Zealand,
this week, New Zealand has urged caution in moving beyond the
intellectual property (IP) standards required by the World Trade
Organization (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
The confidential paper, which has been seen by the US advocacy group
Public Citizen, warns that there is “a tendency towards
overprotection of IP in all our societies, particularly in the areas
of copyright and patents.” New Zealand proposes an alternative “TRIPs-
aligned” structure, which would not require data exclusivity
provisions, for example, but would focus on operational coherence and
enforcement and capacity-building in developing countries.
S Korea US trade deal plus boost for biosimilars
In contrast, the “TRIPs-plus” provisions included in many FTAs
involving the US aim to facilitate “stronger, longer and more common
pharmaceutical monopolies, raise health care costs and limit access
to medicines,” says Public Citizen. While the group is concerned at
some of New Zealand’s proposals – including the risk that they could
considerably increase the bias of IP enforcement policy towards
rights holders – it adds that they could also preserve TPP members’
rights to pursue IP policies “that protect and promote regional
access to lifesaving medicines.”
The document “represents a significant improvement over the status
quo advanced in many developed-country FTAs over the past 15 years,
and a direct challenge to the monopoly interests of major
pharmaceutical corporations,” Public Citizen adds.
The group has also reported that US drugmakers are calling for US
negotiators to ensure that the TPP talks secure “the highest
possible” IP protections from the negotiating partners, plus changes
to New Zealand’s pharmaceutical management agency (PHARMAC), similar
to the restraints placed on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits
Scheme (PBS) by the recent US/Australia FTA.
The request is made in a paper submitted to the US Trade
Representative (USTR) by the Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and major US business partners,
which also calls for the TPP to include a pharmaceutical chapter
modeled after provisions in the US FTAs with Korea and Australia,
says Public Citizen.
New Zealand should release TPP draft text, so the public can
contribute, says Public Citizen, which also calls on the other
negotiating partners to “take a cue” from New Zealand and
“affirmatively introduce their own independent visions for trade and
the knowledge economy early in the negotiations, so the matter is not
settled by rote and a twentieth-century template introduced by the
United States,” says Public Citizen.
- The original TPP took effect in May 2008, signed by Brunei, Chile,
New Zealand and Singapore. The current talks also include Australia,
Malaysia, Peru, the US and Vietnam, which are negotiating to join the
2) Pharmalot: New Zealand Challenges Pharma In Trade Talks
3) Radio New Zealand: NZ resists tough copyright stance
Updated at 1:03pm on 6 December 2010
A leaked paper indicates New Zealand negotiators are resisting a
tough stance by the United States on copyright infringement and other
intellectual property demands.
Some 400 from the nine countries involved in talks on the
TransPacific Partnership (TPP) are in Auckland for meetings this week.
In previous trade deals, the United States has pushed for stronger
enforcement of copyright for its film studios and longer patents for
US pharmaceutical companies.
A paper leaked to a non-governmental organisation suggests New
Zealand is unhappy with that approach in the TPP.
Former New Zealand trade negotiator Charles Finny says the US cannot
be too demanding without making concessions of its own on agriculture.
4) Pharma Letter
The Pharma Letter
Leaked New Zealand paper challenges major Pharma companies in Trans-
Pacific trade negotiations
Article | 7 December 2010
A confidential Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiating
paper authored by New Zealand suggests that the trade pact's patent
and copyright provisions be no more stringent than existing global
standards. Warning that the New Zealand position still poses some
risks for access to medicines, US consumer advocacy group Public
Citizen applauds this direct challenge to the monopoly interests of
major pharmaceutical corporations.
Meanwhile, the US-based pharmaceutical industry on Friday requested
that the American government push for "the highest possible" regional
intellectual property protections and changes to the policies of New
Zealand's Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) through the
TPPA. If the drug industry prevails, access to medicines could be at
risk, it said.
Pharma-favored provisions included in many recent US trade deals
extend drug company monopolies and keep prices high. But price-
lowering generic competition is essential to advancing global access
to medicines. For example, says Public Citizen, over the past 10
years, generic competition has played a key role in reducing the
costs of first-line HIV/AIDS medicines by 99%, enabling 5.2 million
people worldwide to access lifesaving treatment.
But dangers seen in NZ's proposed focus areas
The leaked New Zealand paper states the parties "should be cautious
about moving beyond TRIPS [Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights] standards under [the] TPP," noting "there is a
tendency towards overprotection of IP in all our societies,
particularly in the areas of copyright and patents." New Zealand
proposes an alternative "TRIPS-aligned" structure, focusing on
operational coherence and enforcement, and capacity building in
developing countries. There are still dangers in each of New
Zealand's proposed focus areas; even these seeming procedural
approaches may increase monopoly protections. New Zealand's position
could incorporate terms of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting
Trade Agreement (ACTA), said Public Citizen.
But the leaked paper reflects growing awareness of the risks of TRIPS-
plus measures and rigid exclusive rights in many countries, making
explicit reference to controversies within New Zealand over the
content and secrecy of these negotiations.
"The best result for many parties to the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Agreement would be no intellectual property or pharmaceuticals
provisions at all," said Peter Maybarduk, director of the Global
Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen, adding: "Nevertheless,
New Zealand's proposal is a better starting point for regional IP
negotiation than the US-sponsored TRIPS-plus status quo."
Leaked Trans-Pacific treaty document sparks 'ACTA Part 2' fears
By Stephen Bell | Wellington | Monday, 6 December, 2010
A document allegedly exposing New Zealand negotiators' position on
the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty has been leaked by US
consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.
This has led to a re-emergence of fears that hard-line intellectual-
property champions could renew a push towards the punitive regime
against IP infraction that they have so far failed to achieve under
the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Negotiations on the TPP agreement began in Auckland today.
The position document seems on the face of it to reflect a cautious
attitude to extending IP protection significantly beyond the current
TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement.
"A range of difficulties have emerged for TPP seeking to strengthen
IP standards beyond those agreed to in TRIPS," it says. "Analysis of
the costs and benefits of IP protection shows that there is a
tendency towards overprotection of IP in all our societies,
particularly in the areas of copyright and patents."
With improved networking technology, it has become easier to access
and exploit information on current innovation, says the document
Consequently, "many innovations are occurring in a rapid and
sequential manner either through the clustering of innovation or by
one innovator moving to quickly build on the work of another.
"In this environment, more people are arguing that overly strong IP
rights can act as an inhibitor rather than as a promoter of
innovation. Many of these claims are being made not just by users but
by innovators themselves."
New Zealand IP lawyer Rick Shera says on his blog the document shows
NZ negotiators "see TRIPS as the high water mark for IP law and its
enforcement and would resist any attempts to go beyond that."
It seems "in general [they] view the push for stronger IP protection
to be premature and its need unsupported by evidence; [and they]
doubt that a 'one size fits all' model can ever work anyway," he
says. The document comments that differences in countries' "size,
incomes, levels of development and economic structure" suggest
appropriate levels of protection should be different.
The negotiators, Shera says, appear to "prefer that TPP stick to
enhancing cooperation between treaty countries so that resources are
used more efficiently, cross-border registration of existing rights
(especially patents and trademarks) is streamlined and enforcement
regimes are of a higher quality rather than necessarily being stronger."
However, champions of a liberal point of view are still disquieted
that it took a leak to acquaint New Zealanders with the position
their government is taking on their behalf.
A statement from the TechLiberty lobby organisation quotes spokesman
David Zanetti: "We're disappointed that we're reduced to finding the
NZ government's position through document leaks. Why can't these
position papers be published for everyone to see? It's not like
they're secret from the other negotiating countries."
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