Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Latest draft Canada/European Union IP Chapter

Michael Geist provides a link and a report on an updated version of the draft chapter on intellectual property being negotiated in the Canada/European Union trade agreement talks.

It is really quite long - covering all the main areas of IP. Interestingly, there are only a few areas where Canada has proposed substantive alternative language - its mainly a wish list for the EU.

Canada has proposed alternative language on geographical indications and data protection - providing at least some indication that Canada is concerned about adopting the EU position on those points. However, that might be reading too much into a draft document - if, for example, Canada is utterly opposed to patent term extension, then you wouldn't expect Canada to propose alternative language on patent term extension in a draft of the chapter - Canada would simply say no.

I note that the European language that would require Canada to grant parallel copyright and industrial design protection has been amended to remove the requirement.

What I'm finding most interesting today - although I don't have time to go on at length - is the European proposal for an institution to be established to oversee implementation of the chapter on intellectual property. With no details provided, it is difficult to say too much about it, other than to point out its potential. But, institutions to monitor compliance, gather and exchange information and allow for regular meetings and exchange of ideas have played a huge role in international thinking and harmonization in a wide range of fields, including IP.

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