USTR Puts IP Focus In Digital Trade In NAFTA Renegotiation Objectives 18/07/2017 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a 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)In its newly issued objectives for renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has put a strong focus on protecting and exploiting intellectual property rights in the digital environment. The negotiating objectives, which are rather broadly worded in an 18-page document, are available here. NAFTA is the 1994 US free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. The document includes sections on some 22 subjects, including a substantive section on intellectual property, reprinted below. The IP objectives include clear adherence to international trade rules, an attempt to keep use of IP rights unfettered, strong, and responsive to technological change. It upholds a World Trade Organization declaration on IP and health that reinforced use of flexibilities in IP rights, while adding insistence on protection for innovation. And it takes a jab at rising protection for geographical indications (products with names deriving from a particular place and certain characteristics, like brie cheese). Below is the intellectual property section: “Intellectual Property: Promote adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, including through the following: Ensure accelerated and full implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), particularly with respect to meeting enforcement obligations under TRIPS. Ensure provisions governing intellectual property rights reflect a standard of protection similar to that found in U.S. law. Provide strong protection and enforcement for new and emerging technologies and new methods of transmitting and distributing products embodying intellectual property, including in a manner that facilitates legitimate digital trade. Prevent or eliminate discrimination with respect to matters affecting the availability, acquisition, scope, maintenance, use, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Ensure standards of protection and enforcement that keep pace with technological developments, and in particular ensure that rightholders have the legal and technological means to control the use of their works through the Internet and other global communication media, and to prevent the unauthorized use of their works. Provide strong standards enforcement of intellectual property rights, including by requiring accessible, expeditious, and effective civil, administrative, and criminal enforcement mechanisms. Prevent or eliminate government involvement in the violation of intellectual property rights, including cybertheft and piracy. Secure fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory market access opportunities for United States persons that rely upon intellectual property protection. Respect the Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, adopted by the World Trade Organization at the Fourth Ministerial Conference at Doha, Qatar on November 14, 2001, and to ensure that trade agreements foster innovation and promote access to medicines. Prevent the undermining of market access for U.S. products through the improper use of a country’s system for protecting or recognizing geographical indications, including failing to ensure transparency and procedural fairness and protecting generic terms” 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 "USTR Puts IP Focus In Digital Trade In NAFTA Renegotiation Objectives" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.