Making IP a Top Priority in the TPP

This week, the GIPC participated in the 13th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in San Diego, California. Hosted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), this round of discussions brought together negotiating countries from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam to work towards a high-standard agreement that addresses new and emerging trade issues.

Considering that California leads the country with more than 7 million intellectual property (IP)-intensive jobs and $122 billion in IP exports, San Diego proved an apropos location to host this round of negotiations. Using the case study of California, we took the opportunity to engage negotiators from the nine countries and reassert the importance of a robust IP chapter that matches the level of protection in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. One such avenue to promote strong IP was through the GIPC’s participation in the USTR-hosted stakeholder engagement event. This event allowed stakeholders to speak directly with negotiators as well as other interested organizations.

The GIPC, furthermore, hosted a panel, titled “Innovation Lifecycle: Why Strong Intellectual Property Protections Matter.” Panelists included David Branfman, Owner of the Branfman Group; Mike Castellano, Vice President for Government Relations at Disney; Jason Ferrone, Vice President of Patents for Isis Pharmaceuticals; Monique Rodriguez, Director of Government Affairs at Qualcomm, along with moderator Steve Tepp, GIPC’s Chief IP Counsel.

This event allowed panelists to highlight the importance of strong IP protections in each of their respective industries. Each of the panelists stressed that IP protections are a top priority when making decisions on how they invest both domestically and abroad, and that free trade agreements are important tool to help them feel secure when investing overseas.

We here at the GIPC agree that effective and robust IP provisions in trade agreements provide a win-win opportunity for U.S. and foreign innovators and economies alike. We appreciate the ability to engage directly with the negotiators and other stakeholders at these negotiations and look forward to continued engagement with USTR and the negotiating countries at subsequent rounds.

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