[A2k] Intellectual property issues viewed as last TPP hurdle

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Mon May 25 10:35:16 PDT 2015

Of course, the details are all classified secret information, because
??%&*%^?    Delegates, including the US, leak what they want.

Intellectual property issues viewed as last TPP hurdle


GUAM – Trade negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in
Guam are now focusing on intellectual property issues, which appear likely
to be the last hurdle to concluding the talks.

Chief negotiators from Japan, the United States and 10 other countries
engaged in the negotiations were working Saturday to narrow down the issues
that should be left to high-level political decisions, with a view to
reaching a broad agreement at the next ministerial meeting, expected to be
held next month or later.

Still, given that there are many sticky issues in the field, it remains
difficult to break the stalemate, a Japanese government source said.

The countries are particularly divided over how long clinical data on new
drugs should be protected. Japan currently bans the development of generic
drugs for eight years, in principle, after an original drug is approved for
marketing. The United States is calling for setting the protection period
for cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals at 12 years.

Meanwhile, Australia and some emerging economies are pushing for five years
or fewer, due to their high reliance on less expensive generic drugs.

A compromise proposal that calls for a shorter protection period for cold
medicines and other drugs with low development costs is being studied, but
Australia’s opposition is persistent, a source familiar with the
negotiations said.

Another thorny issue in the intellectual property field is the duration of
copyright protection, which is set at 70 years after the deaths of rights
holders in the United States and Australia, and at 50 years in Canada and

The U.S. call for 70 years is now on the table, and Japan, which has a
50-year protection period for musical and literary works, is poised to
support it, depending on detailed terms.

The issue of protecting geographical indications for agricultural products,
such as Champagne, is also likely to be left to the envisioned ministerial

The United States and Australia are strongly opposed to setting strict
rules on such indications, concerned that they could hamper efforts to
expand exports.

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