Global Intellectual Property Center

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

The United States and eleven trading partners–Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam–in 2015 concluded negotiations on a high-standard agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The TPP agreement addresses new and emerging trade issues and 21st-century challenges by enhancing trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promoting innovation, economic growth and development, and supporting the creation and retention of jobs.

Given that the TPP is intended to serve as a model for future Asia-Pacific-U.S. trade agreements, it is critical that the TPP Agreement incorporates robust intellectual property (IP) protections.

IP-intensive industries play a key role in driving economic growth, jobs, and competitiveness. IP-intensive industries account for more than 40 million American jobs, over 60% of total U.S. exports, and 34.8% of U.S. GDP. Pursuing comprehensive and commercially meaningful IP obligations will not only benefit U.S. interests, but will also help bring investment, innovation, and jobs to all TPP economies. These protections are also essential ingredients for incentivizing the innovation and creativity that lead to the development of original works, life-saving medicines, environmentally friendly technologies, and the promotion of valued brands.

TPP’s IP standards must be comprehensive, specific, and commercially meaningful, and apply to all TPP parties and across all industries. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement’s (KORUS) IP chapter should serve as a model for TPP, as it provides a robust level of IP protections for U.S. creators and innovators, and was widely supported by a broad range of U.S. stakeholders.