KEI | 19 April 2016
Attached here is the October 15, 2015 version of the draft intellectual property right chapter for the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The RCEP is a massive proposed trade agreement, some see as a rival or alternative to the TPP, which currently involves the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, plus six other countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
KEI is the first to make this confidential text public.
Statement by James Love, KEI Director:
"The RCEP will be a massive trade agreement and the content of the IP Chapter is important. It will bind India and China, two countries left out of the TPP. Japan and Korea are trying to push many of the worst ideas from ACTA, TPP and other trade agreements into the RCEP IP Chapter. Some of the issues that negotiators did not understand in the TPP, such as the damages provisions, are also lurking in this text, creating risks that negotiators will do worse than they think, because the secrecy of the negotiations insulates the negotiators from timely feedback on technically complex issues. Japan and Korea are pushing for test data monopolies, without the same safeguards available to patent monopolies. There are proposals for patent extensions, restrictive rules on exceptions to copyright, and dozens of other anti-consumer measures, illustrating the power of right-holder groups to use secret trade negotiations to limit democratic decisions that impact access to knowledge, the freedom to innovate and the right to health, in negative ways."