TPP Is Obama’s Top Trade Priority For 2016 02/03/2016 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is the Obama administration’s top trade priority this year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative said in its annual trade agenda released today. The agenda highlights intellectual property protection but also says all the right things on copyright limitations and exceptions, safe harbor for internet service providers, promotion of generic medicines, and the ability of countries to use flexibilities under international trade law. The annual USTR trade policy agenda is available here [pdf]. The trade agenda report highlights intellectual property issues in a separate section, which states: “TPP BENEFITS FOR INNOVATORS & CREATORS Strong and balanced IP standards are critical for driving innovation, fostering America’s future economic growth, and protecting American jobs. An estimated 40 million American jobs are directly or indirectly dependent on innovation and creativity, including many in cutting edge industries that have great potential for future growth. TPP’s rules will promote exports and protect U.S. creativity while encouraging the development of open, innovative, and technologically advanced economies in the Asia-Pacific region. To drive Made in America innovation and creation, TPP: • Reinforces a strong patentability standard, with appropriate limitations drawn from international commitments, to protect the jobs and solutions to global challenges generated by U.S. innovators in areas ranging from solar panels to smart manufacturing. • Adopts strong copyright protections to respect the rights of creators and establish clear protection of works such as songs, movies, books, and computer software, and to facilitate the development of new models for distributing creative content that keeps pace with technology. • Requires copyright term of at least life plus 70 years for works calculated based on the life of the author, and at least 70 years for other works such as sound recordings and movies. • Clarifies and strengthens protection of the brand names and other signs or symbols businesses use to distinguish their goods in the marketplace. It also promotes efficient and transparent registration of trademarks through all TPP Parties. • Sets enhanced due process and transparency disciplines on the use of geographic indications (GIs) to address the growing concerns of U.S. producers and traders, whose access to foreign markets can be severely undermined through overly expansive GI protections. • Enhances customs cooperation to fight counterfeits that harm legitimate businesses and threaten public health. • Requires availability of criminal penalties for the theft of trade secrets, including by cyber theft. • Requires Parties to continuously seek to achieve an appropriate balance in copyright systems through, among other things, exceptions and limitations to copyright for legitimate purposes, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research, and clarifies that exceptions and limitations are available for the digital environment. • Establishes copyright safe harbors for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to develop their business, while also helping to address Internet copyright infringement in an effective manner. TPP includes no obligations on these ISPs to monitor content on their networks or systems, and provides for safeguards against abuse of such safe harbor systems. • Promotes access to medicines by facilitating the development of innovative, life-saving drugs and treatments, and the spread of generic medicines. This includes commitments in TPP that build on the principles underlying the “May 10th Agreement,” which based flexibilities for certain pharmaceutical provisions on the level of development and capacity of individual trading partners. TPP also aligns with the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health and affirms the rights of countries to take measures to protect public health.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "TPP Is Obama’s Top Trade Priority For 2016" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.