The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) provides one of the most unique opportunities in the history of international trade. Though the U.S. and European Union (EU) economies are high-standard already, a successful TTIP could greater harmonize intellectual property systems and increase coordination and cooperation on intellectual property rights between the two countries. The TTIP IP chapter could also set the highest standard of IP protection, which other countries around the world can emulate in order to best protect their own innovators and creators.
The importance of IP is well-documented through data on both sides of the pond. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, IP-intensive industries account for $5 trillion of U.S. GDP, 60% of U.S. exports, and 40 million American jobs. Late last year, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) released a similar study, which found that IP-intensive industries create 77 million jobs and generate 40% of the total economic activity throughout the EU.
As co-chair for the intellectual property working group of the Business Coalition for Transatlantic Trade (BCTT), the U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is at the forefront of advocacy regarding IPRs in trade agreements.
Objectives for the TTIP negotiations:
- Maintain and promote robust IP frameworks and effective levels of intellectual property protection in the European Union and the United States.
- Meaningfully address measures that hinder IP protection and enforcement, such as those driven by industrial policy priorities or that otherwise impede market access and trade or undermine the rights of IP holders.
- Utilize the TTIP negotiations to assess and address areas where both partners can achieve the goals of economic growth and job creation by strengthening IP provisions, recognizing the unique nature of the relationship and the frameworks that each country has already adopted.
- Ensure that this agreement does not undermine the rights of trademark holders or prevent the use of common names in international commerce and that it addresses practices in Europe that weaken intellectual property protection, including by adequately protecting confidential commercial information submitted to marketing approval authorities from inappropriate disclosure.
- Ensure that the outcome supports the ability of the United States and European Union to achieve robust IP protection in other negotiations, foreign markets and at the global level.
- Pursue cooperative efforts to promote effective standards of intellectual property protection and enforcement internationally to level the playing field for U.S. and EU businesses and enhance the level of global innovation.