[Ip-health] Experts challenge USTR on innovation, IP and FDI at TPP Dallas

Steven Knievel sknievel at citizen.org
Wed May 23 13:26:20 PDT 2012

>From May 8-May 18, negotiators from the United States, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam convened at the Intercontinental Hotel outside Dallas, Texas<http://www.citizen.org/TPP-round-in-Dallas> to continue talks on a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement (TPP) that would transform countries' economic laws and regulations, from financial services and investment rules to internet policy. A number of civil society groups attended as stakeholders, though they were not allowed inside the negotiations space.

Industry groups including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and the International Intellectual Property Alliance hosted events for negotiators (which one observer described as "infomercials"). Public interest groups countered with events on innovation and internet freedom.

On the fifth anniversary of the May 10th Agreement<http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2012/03/08/affordable-medicines-for-poor-people/>  - the "New Trade Policy" that began to reduce the negative effects of US free trade agreements on global access to medicines - Oxfam America and Public Citizen sponsored a lunch on innovation policy featuring economists and other experts in the field. Peter Maybarduk launched the program with a call to negotiators to build on, rather than rollback<http://www.citizen.org/documents/PC-Briefing-Memo-on-New-US-IP-Text-and-Access-to-Medicines.pdf>, the modest public health achievements of the May 10th agreement.

The innovation policy experts' presentations emphasized that IP regimes alone are not sufficient to attract foreign direct investment. Flexible IP systems with more limited and narrow exclusive rights can be important to spur technological development, competition and local innovation. Particular country contexts must be taken into account in order to design appropriate patent regimes. There is a lack of empirical evidence to support TRIPS+ proposals that seek to expand the scope and duration of exclusive rights. Effective innovation systems include more comprehensive policies and feature significant inputs from the public sector and universities.

Innovation Policy Presenters:

Dr. Walter Park - Associate Professor of Economics, American University

James Love - Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

Michael Palmedo - Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, American University Washington College of Law

Dr. Burcu Kilic - Public Citizen Global Access to Medicines Program

Slides from the presentations can be found here<http://www.citizen.org/TPP-round-in-Dallas>.

Global Access to Medicines Program

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TEL: +1 202-588-1000

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URL: http://www.citizen.org/access

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