After more than five years of discussion, negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) concluded on October 5, 2015. This agreement is said to be the largest free trade initiative in history, involving 12 countries and representing 40% of the global economy.
The TPP negotiations were confidential, with no official information being made available to the public; however, a technical summary of negotiated outcomes on the intellectual property chapter has been released by the Canadian government. Accordingly, it appears that this chapter of the agreement will contain a broad range of provisions covering patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs, geographical indications, and trade secrets. The partnership is also said to facilitate rights enforcement and cooperation between the parties on IP issues.
The intellectual property provisions of the TPP were said to be among the most controversial. In particular it has been suggested that one of the most contentious issues in the negotiations involved the length of patent protection for biologics.
A finalized version of the agreement is expected to be released to the public in the next few days after legal review, translation, drafting and verification. The Canadian government has indicated that the agreement will be signed early in the new year, with ratification to occur over the next two years.