Intellectual Property in the WTO Volume II
Research Handbooks on the WTO series
Edited by Carlos M. Correa
Chapter 2: TRIPS-Plus-Plus Initiatives on Broad Border Measures: Features and Implications
Xuan Li 1. Introduction Promoting TRIPS-plus-plus standards on IP enforcement has been a priority of developed countries in recent years through multilateral, regional and bilateral negotiations.1 Traditionally, WIPO has been the major forum to negotiate intellectual property (IP). However, while facing resistance to the TRIP-plus-plus negotiations agenda under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from well-coordinated developing countries, developed countries launched simultaneous initiatives in other international or regional forums and in particular, shifted the battlefield to the World Customs Organization (WCO), which is relatively unknown to the international community for setting IP regulations, and through manipulating WCO, to further influence other international forums like the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Other forums include the International Medicinal Products Anti-counterfeit Taskforce (IMPACT), based at the World Health Organization (WHO), the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA); and various free trade agreements (FTAs) which bypass the WTO process in order to impose TRIPS-plus-plus standards. Under this forum-shopping strategy, the intention of developed countries is to break the deadlock through the back-door. The ongoing TRIPS-plus-plus IP enforcement initiative can be regarded as the second generation of international IP rule making, if TRIPS can be seen as the first generation. Developed countries’ current strategy of promoting IP enforcement negotiations bears some similarities to that of 13 years ago when developed countries were pushing for incorporation of TRIPS into the WTO rule system, but there are also some new features. What is common in both 1 ‘TRIPS-plus’ generally refers to commitments that go beyond...
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