Edited by Daniel J. Gervais
Chapter 8: Fair and equitable treatment of foreign investments and intellectual property rights
In assessing the potential impact that treating intellectual property (IP) as an investment asset can have on the IP policy space available to states, it is essential to draw a distinction between the rules governing the expropriation of investment assets and the rules relating to the fair and equitable treatment (FET) of investments. This distinction is necessary because, in some investment agreements, measures relating to IP are excluded from the scope of the rules on expropriation, whereas there is usually no such exclusion of IP from the scope of the FET standard. Moreover, the FET standard can be described as a standard whose content and scope is ambiguous, thus making it a potentially useful tool in the hands of an investor seeking to challenge an IP measure adopted by a state. This chapter therefore seeks to examine the potential impact that the FET standard can have on the IP policy space available to states. Using the two recent decisions of investment tribunals in the cases of Philip Morris v Uruguay and Eli Lilly v Canada as case studies, the chapter will critically examine the extent to which a claim based on a denial of FET can narrow down the policy space available to states to design their national IP laws in a way that suits their level of development and societal needs.
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