PIJIP has prepared a comparison of ACTA and the TPP’s IP chapter with a document on the main highlights and a line-by-line analysis. The documents provide further evidence that the TPP would require Canada to fundamentally overhaul its copyright laws, including many of the provisions found in Bill C-11.
Post Tagged with: "Intellectual Property"
While China-based piracy is unquestionable a concern, Canada has too often used the issue to curry favour with the U.S. at the expense of developing the China relationship. In recent years, our support for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (which deliberately excluded China) and now the Trans Pacific Partnership (which also excludes China) does little to help relations. China could be a strategic ally on global IP issues as both countries face significant external pressure for reform. While compliance with international rules should be the starting point for any dialogue, focusing on the flexibility that exists at international law to address domestic concerns is in both our interests.
The biggest Canadian blunder was the decision to join a U.S. complaint against China at the World Trade Organization in 2007 alleging that China’s domestic laws, border measures, and criminal penalties for intellectual property violations did not comply with its international treaty obligations. The case was a big loss. China was required to amend parts of its copyright law but on the big issues – border measures and IP enforcement – almost all of the contested laws were upheld as valid.
More interesting are the background documents that demonstrate that the Canadian government was unable to muster credible evidence of harm among Canadian companies.
Stuart Trew reports on a call last week with Canadian officials on the status of the Canada – EU Trade Agreement. The intellectual property provisions remain a sticking point with the EU seeking “a total re-write of Canadian IP rules.”
Because IPRs grant a form of monopoly, an overly rigid and inflexible IP framework can act as a barrier to innovation. When a firm has acquired exclusive rights over its innovative technology or content, other firms will be able to learn from that technology or see the content, but may be unable to use them for further innovation unless licensing can be agreed. IPRs can constrain third parties wishing to access or innovate on top of this protected knowledge or content, with potentially serious economic and social costs.
The report also notes that a considerable amount of IP policy is often not based on economic evidence, citing as examples the EU database directive and the extension of the term of copyright.
Most scientific studies â€œfail to find evidence of a strong positive response by domestic innovators that could be reasonably ascribed to the effect of stronger IPR.â€ To clarify, it is undisputable that R&D spending is associated with higher GDP growth and, given current business models, a certain level of IPR protection is essential for investment in innovation and creativity. Incremental IPR reforms in OECD countries, however, do not seem to increase domestic spending in R&D. Some stakeholders interviewed for this study and several academics consider that excessive IPR could actually harm economic growth, even in OECD countries, if their holders can block followâ€on research.
As for the costs of the CETA IP provisions, the report notes that more dollars will flow to Europe, but Canadian IP holders would not see increased revenue flow back. In fact, it is Canadian consumers that will pay the price with “inflationary pressure” on consumer prices: