The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest-ever economic treaty proposed until now. The current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.
Which are the consequences of this treaty in our countries? And, more specifically, which are the consequences on our IP laws? Firstly, we wouldn’t have any control over our IP law since the TPP Treaty plans to introduce a global legal regimen to control and guard the TPP countries IP being able to modify and replace their existing laws.
We cannot be sure about the implications of this treaty since access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. But we are aware that the longest section of the Chapter “Enforcement” is based on details about new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards.
In conclusion, this new treaty would mean that some countries will not be able to apply their own IP laws and it is important to have in mind that many countries depend on those national laws to not only improve but also to save their citizen’s lives, such as India where the patent law tries to find the best way to buy low cost medicines for their people, who can’t afford the prices of medicines due to patent. Even the Indian Supreme Court has denied patent applications to big pharmaceuticals (Novartis) so that any generic drug manufacturer in India can make and sell their drugs.
We need to be precise on what we agree as a union of countries and what every single country needs to provide for their own citizens. This is not a matter of Apple against Samsung or any similar patent battle and we must be aware of it and request more information about the secret treaty being developed behind our backs.