From Collision to Collaboration
- Elgar International Investment Law series
Chapter 10: Intellectual property rights in international investment agreements: towards the creation of a set of TRIPS-plus provisions?
What happens if we fail [to obtain TRIPS]? I think there are a number of consequences to failure. First, will be an increase in bilateralism. For those of you who think bilateralism is a bad thing, a bad thing will come about. (Emory Simon). Confronted by a standstill in WTO negotiations, including on the intellectual property level, ‘industrialized countries have moved negotiations to bilateral settings in order to obtain higher standards of IP protection’. While this trend can be criticized for its negative impacts on developing countries by rolling back both substantive and strategic gains of the TRIPS for these countries and ‘in some cases completely eliminat[ing] policy options and sovereign discretion granted by the TRIPs Agreement’, it is not illegal as such and is even allowed by the Agreement itself.
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