Supporters of the TPP have been at pains to argue that the agreement is largely business as usual, reflecting standards and approaches that are already commonly found in existing Canadian law and agreements. Yet according to a document obtained under the Access to Information Act, that is not how government officials describe the TPP in their own analysis. Internal analysis drafted in late August 2015 shows officials described the IP chapter as covering “a much broader scope of issues than any recent Canadian FTA” and noting that the TPP goes beyond agreements such as TRIPS and NAFTA.
Indeed, here is how the IP chapter was described by Canadian officials weeks before an agreement was formally concluded:
The TPP IP chapter is more detailed and covers a much broader scope of issues than any recent Canadian FTA, including the CETA. While much of its scope overlaps with the WTO TRIPS and the NAFTA, TPP goes beyond these agreements in a number of respects. The TPP IP chapter touches in many additional areas including:
- the term of copyright protection
- explicit protection and offences for circumventing technological protection measures and rights management information
- patent term adjustment
- data protection for clinical trial data generated for the marketing approval of pharmaceutical drugs
- explicit protection for clinical data for new biologic drugs
- patent linkage
- patent term restoration for delays in marketing approval of drugs protected by patents
- extensive rules regarding TPP members ability to provide protection for future geographical indications
- agreement to cooperate in the area of genetic resources and traditional knowledge
- protection for industrial design elements
- trademark protection for non-traditional marks, such as scent and sound trademarks
- extensive enforcement measures in the areas of civil, criminal, and border enforcement, including the availability of statutory damages for copyright infringement, criminal offences related to commercial scale trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy
- ex officio authority for border officers to detain suspected infringing goods and measures to enable cooperation with rights holders as well as protection and remedial measures for trade secrets
- government use of software
- unauthorized decryption of encrypted satellite and cable signals
- a suite of provisions relating to Internet Service Provider liability.
While supporters of the TPP have recently sought to downplay the impact of the agreement, it turns out that the government itself has acknowledged internally that the TPP goes much further than existing international agreements and any other Canadian free trade agreement.