Max Planck launches Principles for IP Provisions in Bilateral and Regional Agreements

Minerva is always keeping an eye on the developments in international trade policy. For quite some time now she has been observing the trend of including provisions on the protection and enforcement of IP into bilateral and regional agreements. Concerned by the unprecedented levels that this has reached, both quantitatively and qualitatively, she has finally decided to speak out. The outcome of years of research, passionate debates with IP and trade experts from all over the world and extended night sessions is a set of principles that express the drafters' core concerns regarding a number of issues:
  • the use of IP provisions as a bargaining chip in international trade negotiations;
  • the increasing comprehensiveness and complexity of international IP rules in bilateral and regional agreements;
  • the lack of transparency and inclusiveness in the negotiating process; and
  • the resulting imbalances that are often reflected in the respective IP provisions negotiated on the bilateral or regional level.
The principles recommend international rules and procedures that can achieve a better, mutually advantageous and balanced regulation of international IP. They are open to signature by anyone who shares their objectives [Merpel, a self-confessed advocate of free trade and national sovereignty, has already left her paw prints].

The principles have been formally presented just a couple of hours ago at this year's Annual Congress of the Association for Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP), which has taken up the challenge of answering a bold question: Is Intellectual Property a Lex Specialis? And as if that wasn't enough, the congress is held in a setting that could hardly be more impressive: the University of Oxford. This Kat would like to take the opportunity to thank Graeme Dinwoodie (current ATRIP president) and all congress participants for making this such a wonderful experience. See you next year, in Montpellier, and the year after, in South Africa [as you can see, the ATRIP executive board has a knack when it comes to choosing conference venues].
Max Planck launches Principles for IP Provisions in Bilateral and Regional Agreements Max Planck launches Principles for IP Provisions in Bilateral and Regional Agreements Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. The 'principles' are very laudable. I suppose the implicit message is that trade agreements are not negotiated and signed by equals. It will often be the case that one party is more powerful and is able to gain an advantage, and once an agreement is signed it does of course (often unfairly) cover the future governments of the country.

  2. Well, I'll mention the elephant in the room. The USA is the unbalancing force in all such 'negotiations', with their exceptionally powerful lobby groups pulling the strings to a disgraceful extent behind the scenes.
    I am not usually a fan of the EU, but at least it has the balls to stand up to the USA on occasions (ACTA for instance).
    It's about time not just WIPO but the WTO too stood up for the developing nations, to redress the disproportionate influence of the USA in particular and the Western industrialised nations generally.


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