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Intellectual property in free trade agreements

Third World Network

New Book Release

Intellectual Property in Free Trade Agreements


Publisher: TWN (ISBN: 978-983-2729-57-0)
Year: 2008 No. of pages: 112


Developing countries are signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with developed countries. These FTAs often include intellectual property protection that is stronger than the World Trade Organisation requires (known as ‘TRIPS-plus’ protection). This book highlights the likely effects on developing countries of agreeing to these TRIPS-plus provisions, particularly those in US FTAs.

In the area of health, it explains the provisions that can increase the price of medicines, summarises some of the recent quantitative studies that show that medicine prices will increase due to these provisions and notes the concern about this issue by bodies including United Nations agencies. It also draws attention to fears that these provisions can make tobacco control more difficult.

In agriculture, the book clarifies the way in which these provisions can increase the price of inputs for farmers (without raising their yields or productivity) and reduce the ability to protect biodiversity from biopiracy.

For the manufacturing sector, the book notes examples of successful industrialisation in the absence of intellectual property protection and explains the way in which these provisions can prevent developing countries from moving up the value chain.

The book also draws together evidence that stronger intellectual property protection can harm innovation, decrease access to information and environmental technology and does not lead to increased foreign direct investment.

How to Order the Book

Order your copy from TWN’s online bookstore: or contact Third World Network at 131 Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia, Tel: 604-2266159, Fax: 604-2264505, Email: [email protected] for further information