Alleged Leaked EU Analysis Sheds Light On TTIP Negotiations On IP

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An alleged leaked analysis by the European Union provides insight into the intellectual property section of the draft Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States. And separately, the US International Trade Commission released a report on trade barriers that US small businesses perceive in exporting to Europe.

The two-page text is an excerpt from a 20 March EU analysis, according to Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), which posted and wrote about the document here.

The leaked document is a summary report on the latest negotiations on a full range of IP rights that might be included in the bilateral agreement, including the difficult issue of geographical indications (GIs).

“The main achievement of the fourth round is the agreement of both sides to continue further work on the basis of a US proposal for the architecture of the IPR Chapter,” the document states. “The idea is to have 4 sections: 1) list of international agreements; 2) general principles stressing the importance of IP as a tool for growth, jobs, and innovation, 3) binding commitments on a limited number of significant IP issues, and 4) cooperation on issues of common interest.”

But it notes: “All discussion remained purely exploratory and do not signal a commitment to negotiate on any of the topics discussed.”

In its assessment, KEI said there clearly are elements kept secret but that “there are some new insights” in the leaked document.

Among the new insights, KEI said, are: “the US resistance to provisions on unregistered designs for apparel, the US ‘stakeholder’ concerns about pharmaceutical test data, which probably concerns EU proposals for greater transparency of such data, the fact some ‘relevant sectors of the [Obama] administration’ are supportive of EU proposals on broadcaster rights, public performance and resale rights (all of which would require changes in US copyright laws), proposals for joint US/EU ‘country reports on enforcement’ in third countries, and norms for trade secrets that will involve new US legislation. The discussion on GIs took up a half day, and appeared to cover familiar ground and no movement on either side.”

USITC Report on TTIP and Small Business

Separately, the USITC has issued a 168-page report [pdf] on the trade barriers US small and medium businesses perceive in exporting to the EU.

“Respondents reported that numerous EU trade barriers, particularly standards-related measures, limit SMEs’ exports to the EU more than those of large exporters,” the report summary states. “They explained that while complying with standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures is costly for larger firms, it is potentially prohibitive for SMEs because many costs are fixed regardless of a firm’s size or revenue. Respondents also cited difficulties involving trade secrets, patenting costs, and logistics challenges, especially customs requirements, Harmonized System classifications, and the EU’s value-added tax system. Trade financing in the EU was reported to be a lesser problem. It also cites industry-specific barriers.


William New may be reached at

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  1. mcjwelles says

    These obscured negotiations appear to this reader as a means of insuring a formal euro and pound subjugation to the $, a legal means to expedite the shifting of Western fuel sourcing from Russia to the US and US/ Mid East (Israel) pipeline to W Ukraine. US apparently predicts the Latin American market is in the bag, has relinquished the Stans finally- and Asia. Africa looms as the next ‘Risk” strategy.

    In short I am suspecting that we are witnessing the economic WWlll, as predicted, outbreak as the Hemispheres are being renegotiated. The Ukraine drama is not more than a seminal detail?

  2. Rebentisch says

    Why can’t the US simply harmonise with European GI protection and move on?

    Regarding patents a EU substantive patent law is unfortunately not existing in the Acqui Communautaire, so how could they negotiate “grace period” with the US?

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