By / July 24, 2014

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in TTIP negotiations

In the Final Repor t of the High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth (HLWG), (11 February 2013), both…

© Arcady / Fotolia
© Arcady / Fotolia

In the Final Repor t of the High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth (HLWG), (11 February 2013), both the EU and the US expressed their commitment to keep and advocate a high level of intellectual property protection (IPR). The report recommended that only a limited number of IPR issues would be addressed during the negotiations. Already in the interim report , the HLWG, the EU and the US had agreed that it would not be possible to “reconcile across the board differences”. In the US business is divided on the issue, the pharmaceutical industry sees the inclusion as vital, whereas Internet companies would like an agreement without an IPR chapter

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing in October 2013, lawmakers expressed the need for strong intellectual property protections, and the Trade Promotion Authority act, ‘‘ Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Ac t of 2014’, introduced in the House in January contains a paragraph aiming at enforcing U.S. IPR.

A number of Federal agencies has created was launched to serve as a one-stop shop for U.S. government tools and resources on intellectual property rights (IPR).
There is also a TransAtlantic IPR Portal , that the US and the EU created with the aim of collecting ressources related to intellectual property rights for businesses.

If you want an in depth view of the subject, please read our analysis “Overcoming Transatlantic differences on intellectual property” by Cristina Cirlig, EPRS, July 2014


Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union Industry-Level Analysis Report, September 2013
A joint project between the European Patent Office and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union
There have already been several studies on specific IP rights, industrial sectors or countries, but the OHIM-EPO study is the first to quantify the overall contribution made by IPR‑intensive industries to the EU economy, in terms of output, employment, wages and trade, taking into account the major IP rights

Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus / Prepared by the Economics and Statistics Administration and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, March 2012
By focusing on relevant data and various statistical measures, this report identified 75 industries (from among 313 total) as IP-intensive. These IP-intensive industries directly accounted for 27.1 million American jobs, or 18.8 percent of all employment

2013 Special 301 Report , Office of the United States Trade Representative, May 2013
Pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“Special 301”), USTR is required to identify those countries that deny adequate and effective protection for IPR or deny fair and equitable market access for persons that rely on IPR protection.2 The USTR is required to designate countries that have the most onerous or egregious acts, policies, or practices and whose acts, policies, or practices have the greatest adverse impact (actual or potential) on the relevant U.S. products as “Priority Foreign Countries.”


Geographical indications (GI) vs. trade marks is a stumbling block , that the Commissioner in charge of Agriculture and US State Secretary for Agriculture discussed during negotiations in the agriculture sector in June 2014.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations / Shayerah Ilias Akhtar, Specialist in International Trade and Finance, Vivian C. Jones, Specialist in International Trade and Finance, Congressional Research Service, February 4, 2014
pp. 31-36: Intellectual Property Rights — Geographical Indications — Copyright Protection — Patents — Trade Secrets

Does ACTA still matter? Protecting intellectual property rights in international trade / Pasquale de Micco, Policy Department, Directorate-General for External Policies, 14January 2013
The US approach to intellectual property determined many of ACTA’s internet provisions, and these proved to be the undoing of the treaty in Europe. The gap between the US — largely concerned with copyright and, until recently, less perturbed by issues of freedom of expression — and the EU — focused on trademark and deeply attentive to personal liberties — are difficult to reconcile. Despite this, there may well be ways to advance ex post ACTA.
pp. 20-23: The EU and US strategies on IP protection in international treaties. A possible compromise?

Two bodies of law separated by a common mission: unilateral conduct by dominant firms at the IP/antitrust intersection in the EU and the US / European Competition Journal. 2013, 9(3), 623-675

Negotiating the IP Chapter of an EU–US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Let’s Not Repeat Past Mistakes / Duncan Matthews, IIC – International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law , August 2013, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 491-493

What role for intellectual Property Rights in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? / panel discussion on Intellectual Property Right (IPR) provisions in the upcoming EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). 15.05.2013
Both the EU and the US have expressed their intent to include an IPR chapter in TTIP, though its final scope will be subject of negotiations. Given the vast economic potential of TTIP and the huge volume of trade in goods and services an IPR chapter seems unavoidable.

IPR Lists For Trans-Atlantic Trade Deal Still Growing; Risk Of Locking In Old IPR Regimes? / By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch, 15 May 2013
Both the US and the EU have a high level of IPR protection, even if the rules used differ. Therefore, there is no need for fixing things. “Our systems are not broken,” Schegelmilch said, and there was no intent to create new rules or to change the IPR systems “via an external impulse.”

Stakeholder views

European Union

Study on geographical indications protection for non-agricultural products in the internal market : Final report , 18 February 2013
The EU has taken a leading role in promoting the GI system throughout the world and in trying to secure a better protection of GIs at international level

European Parliament resolution of 23 May 2013 on EU trade and investment negotiations with the United States of America
12. Stresses that intellectual property is one of the driving forces of innovation and creation and a pillar of the knowledge-based economy, and that the agreement should include strong protection of precisely and clearly defined areas of intellectual property rights (IPRs), including geographical indications, and should be consistent with existing international agreements; believes that other areas of divergence relating to IPRs should be resolved in line with international standards of protection;

United States

U.S. Congress Demands That U.S. Defend Common Food Names and Reject EU’s Aggressive Abuse of Geographical Indications / Consortium for Common Food Names, May 15th, 2014

U.S. Senate Moves To Protect Bratwurst and Bologna From EU Over-Reach on Geographical Indications , April 7th, 2014
The U.S. Senate is keeping up the pressure on the European Union (EU) to not hamper U.S. production and exports through the appropriation of common food names. This time the focus is on commonly used meat names, such as “bologna” and “black forest ham”. In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the senators urged them to defend common names, especially in negotiations with the EU on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations / Shayerah Ilias Akhtar & Vivian C. Jones, Congressional Research Service, February 4, 2014
Congressional. IPR: pp. 31-36

U.S. lawmakers demand strong IP protections in EU trade deal / By Elvina Nawaguna, Reuters, Oct 30, 2013

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Achieving the Potential / United States Senate Committee on Finance, October 30, 2013
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT): “Intellectual property-intensive industries support at least 40 million jobs and contribute more than $5 trillion to the U.S. economy. For me to support a final agreement, it is absolutely essential that T-TIP reflect the highest standard of intellectual property rights protection of any prior agreement
IP, Medicines, and Investor-State Dispute Settlement / by Mike Palmedo, InfoJustice, October 30, 2013


Business Coalition for Transatlantic Trade (BCTT) on Intellectual Property

Trans-Atlantic Business Council (TABC) Intellectual Property

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Achieving the Potential , United States Senate Committee on Finance, October 30, 2013
Dave Ricks , Senior Vice-President and President Lilly Biomedicines: “Joint efforts to raise the standard of IP protection can also serve as the basis for promoting economic growth associated with robust IP protection and enforcement in third countries.

U.S. Business Groups Take Different Views On Inclusion Of IPR In TTIP , Inside U.S. Trade – 05/17/2013
“While brand-name pharmaceutical companies see TTIP as vital for securing reforms in Europe, copyright owners see little need for new rules in TTIP and U.S. Internet companies suggest the agreement should not contain an IP chapter at all”

Business Groups Seek New Disciplines On Trade Secret Theft In TTIP , Inside U.S. Trade – 11/01/2013
“The United States and the EU continue to work together on trade secrets and other [intellectual property rights (IPR)] priorities, including in third countries and international organizations,” the USTR official wrote. “We look forward to building on our shared commitment to strong IPR protection and enforcement in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, which are in their early stages.”

Civil Society

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A Civil Society Response to the Big Pharma wish list / Commons Network, Health Action International Europe.., 24 March 2014
The analysis of the 5 most worrying proposals of the pharmaceutical industry’s wish list for the EU-US trade agreement reveals a real threat to European public health systems and democracy.

EU Civil Society Dialogue meeting on IP provisions in forthcoming US and Japan negotiations , 17/05/2013
“One issue of offensive interest to the EU is geographical indications (GIs). The EU is looking for a US commitment to make a good faith and serious effort to tackle this issue. Other issues are still being discussed such as how to make progress in terms of the registration for protection in trademark and patent offices in order to make processes less costly and simpler (particularly for SMEs); trade secrets”

IP out of TAFTA / Transatlantic Civil Society Declaration, March 18, 2013
“Unless “intellectual property” is excluded from these talks, we fear that the outcome will be an agreement that inflicts the worst of both regimes’ rules on the other party. From a democratic perspective, we believe that important rules governing technology, health, and culture should be debated in the US Congress, the European Parliament, national parliaments, and other transparent forums where all stakeholders can be heard—not in closed negotiations that give privileged access to corporate insiders.”

Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) Resolution on Intellectual Property Rights in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership , October 2013


Leaked EU analysis of TTIP IPR negotiations / Submitted by Manon Ress, Knowledge Ecology International, 28. March 2014
A two page excerpt from a March 20, 2014 EU analysis of the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations on intellectual property rights, including geographical indications

European Commission Admits It Plans To Put ‘Corporate Christmas List’ Of IP Demands Into TAFTA/TTIP from the acta’s-back dept / by Glyn Moody, Techdirt, Thu, Dec 19th 2013

EU-US trade talks – soft words but what’s the real IPR agenda ? / Monica Horten,, 24 June 2013
The EU mandate for the TTIP trade talks with the US indicates that ‘issues related to intellectual property right’s (IPR) will form part of the discussions. The bureacrats in charge of the talks have managed to draft a text that looks quite benign, designed to fool the politicians and the uninitiated. But when decoded, it would seem to amount to the same old enforcement agenda.

EU-US trade talks: Parliament TTIP-toes around IPR & culture / Monica Horten,, 23 May 2013
The European Parliament has today established its position on the EU-US Trade agreement. In the post-ACTA environment, its stance on copyright is waivering, as is the issue of transparency in the negotiations. But, unlike ACTA, TTIP is a broadly-scoped agreement, and the copyright industries are the subject of a quite different controversy – the so-called cultural exception. Moreover, another telecoms issue appears to have been entirely ignored.

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