What does the CPTPP mean for intellectual property?
- The CPTPP contains a comprehensive chapter on intellectual property (IP), which includes provisions across almost all areas of IP rights protection and enforcement.
- The CPTPP suspends a number of provisions in the original Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) chapter on IP in areas such as patents and pharmaceuticals, copyright, Internet service provider (ISP) liability, and IP rights enforcement.
- These suspensions serve to rebalance the IP outcome of the original TPP and reflect CPTPP parties’ interests and priorities in creating a regional standard on IP for the Asia-Pacific region.
Intellectual property explained
Intellectual property (IP) rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of the mind, such as inventions (which can be protected by patents); literary and artistic works (protected by copyright and related rights); designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce (such as trademarks). In a knowledge-based economy, IP often underlies the products, works, technologies and services that we rely on daily and that have an impact on the way we live. Almost all businesses have some kind of IP, whether it be a brand, a design or an invention. Canada recognizes the importance of ensuring that its IP regime appropriately balances the rights of IP right-holders with a range of public policy objectives in the interests of all Canadians.
Canada has a modern and robust IP regime that encourages and incentivizes innovation and that reflects existing standards under international IP treaties.
IP in the CPTPP
The CPTPP contains a comprehensive chapter on IP, which sets a regional standard for the protection and enforcement of IP rights across the Asia-Pacific region. The chapter includes provisions in almost all categories of IP rights, and builds on the framework established under existing international IP treaties.
As part of the conclusion of the CPTPP, the 11 remaining TPP parties agreed to suspend a number of provisions in the original TPP IP chapter. These suspensions serve to rebalance the IP chapter to reflect the remaining parties’ interests and priorities, and suspend the original TPP obligations in the following areas:
- On patents and pharmaceuticals, the parties agreed to suspend the TPP obligations on patent-term adjustment and patent-term restoration, which required parties to adjust the patent term in respect of patent office and marketing approval delays. The parties also agreed to suspend all provisions dealing with data protection for small-molecule drugs and biologics, as well as certain provisions on patentable subject matter to more closely align with international standards under the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS).
- On copyright, the CPTPP suspends the original TPP obligation on the term of protection for copyright and related rights and a provision on national treatment dealing with payment on copyright and related rights, as well as provisions on technological protection measures (TPMs, or “digital locks”) and rights management information (RMI, or “digital watermarks” on copyrighted works).
- On ISP liability, the CPTPP suspends obligations on legal remedies and safe harbours for ISPs. As well, on IP rights enforcement, parties have agreed to suspend provisions in respect of encrypted program-carrying satellite and cable signals.
How the CPTPP will impact Canadian IP right-holders and users
The CPTPP establishes a transparent and predictable standard for the protection and enforcement of IP rights in the Asia-Pacific region. This will give Canadians confidence that they will encounter consistent minimum standards of rules across all CPTPP markets.
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