Governing Science and Technology under the International Economic Order
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Governing Science and Technology under the International Economic Order

Regulatory Divergence and Convergence in the Age of Megaregionals

Edited by Shin-yi Peng, Han-Wei Liu and Ching-Fu Lin

Against the backdrop of the recent trend towards megaregional trade initiatives, this book addresses the most topical issues that lie at the intersection of law and technology. By assessing international law and the political economy, the contributing authors offer an enhanced understanding of the challenges of diverging regulatory approaches to innovation.
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Chapter 13: TPP, RCEP, and the crossvergence of Asian intellectual property standards

Peter K. Yu


This chapter examines the efforts to set intellectual property standards in the Asia-Pacific region through the development of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It begins by examining the regulatory convergence narrative, focusing on efforts to harmonize Asian intellectual property standards through the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and TRIPS-plus bilateral, regional, and plurilateral agreements. The chapter then turns to the regulatory divergence narrative, discussing the region’s inherent nation-based differences, the development considerations involved in developing Asian intellectual property laws and policies, and the growing rivalry between the TPP/CPTPP and the RCEP. This chapter concludes by suggesting that neither the convergence narrative nor the divergence narrative presents a complete and satisfactory story for a region as large, complex, and diverse as Asia. Instead, the chapter contends that the region is likely to see ‘regulatory crossvergence’—a simultaneous convergence and divergence of regulatory standards. Such crossvergence not only has resulted in the region’s development of compromising standards but has also been highly indicative of the ongoing and future standard-setting efforts in Asia.

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