What Safeguards for its Social Function ?
International trade and investment agreements increasingly include provisions on the protection of intellectual property. Recent decisions of arbitral tribunals shed light on this interaction between intellectual property and investment law raising important questions about the coexistence of the different bodies of law and the competence of various fora for adjudicating IP-related disputes.
This conference will critically examine the present landscape of trade and investment agreements, the legitimacy of current practices with regard to the social function of intellectual property rights and the likely avenues for future developments in the field. The latest cases will be discussed not only in the context of investor-state dispute settlement but also in the framework of the World Trade Organisation mechanisms. The interaction with fundamental rights and ethics will be explored, as well as some specific implications for the EU. The ongoing negotiations with regards to the CETA and the TTIP will serve as a common thread for the discussions.
This panel will examine the integration of IP protection in international trade and investment agreements, historically from the past, to the present and future. Can any trends be observed with IP protection in international treaties (e.g., ratified and in force treaties such as NAFTA)? Can the same trends be observed in comparison to signed but not ratified treaties (CETA, EU-Singapore) or treaties under negotiation (such as TTIP)? How is IP protection regulated and what are the legal mechanisms used (in bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral treaties)? What are dispute-settlement tools available under such treaties?
This panel deals with theoretical and practical aspects of the qualification of “intellectual property” as an “investment”. Why is intellectual property protected as an investment? Is it legitimate? What are consequences of such a qualification, and are there any alternatives?
This panel will discuss the details of two iconic disputes in the field of IP and investment protection: the Philip Morris cases, pitting the multinational tobacco company against countries implementing plain packaging regulations (i.e., Uruguay and Australia), and the Eli Lilly v. Canada case decided in March 2017. The panellists will contextualize the disputes and discuss the arguments of the parties and the decision of the tribunals in order to highlight public policy issues arising out of, and the potential impact on, TRIPS flexibilities.