One of the big subjects in the news is the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement between the US, Japan, and other Asian countries. The 12 countries that are in negotiations represent about 40% of the world’s economy. The treaty is also open-ended, meaning that other countries could join the agreement later.
It’s a sweeping agreement covering more than just tariffs. Intellectual property rights are another hot topic of discussion. While all the countries involved agree that strong intellectual property rights are a must, the specifics are still being hashed out. The US and Japan have the most to gain, or lose, in those negotiations.
Biologics is an area that some senators are hoping will receive greater international protections. Under US law, biologics development is protected for 12 years, but in many Asian countries the time is much less. Asia is a booming market for biologics due to its low cost of entry. Larger drugmakers fear that if there isn’t an agreement, it could dissuade innovation in the US and Japan.
When all the players in a trade agreement agree on the rules, then everyone can operate on a clean playing field of competition. IP rights are an important part of those rules. If you have questions about intellectual property rights, or believe that yours may have been violated, contact our offices for a free consultation.