Intellectual Property Rights in International Investment Agreements: An Overview
This article provides an overview of recent developments in investment treaty practice with regard to the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs). The analysis departs from traditional IPR studies developed almost exclusively in the context of the WTO-TRIPS Agreement. The aim of this study is to clarify the extent to which and how international investment agreements (IIAs), including Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) with an investment chapter, increase the scope of IPR protection beyond TRIPS minimum standards. Some IPR provisions found in the sample of RTAs extend IPR protection beyond WTO-TRIPS minimum standards, by providing supplementary coverage of specific standards or additional obligations under the intellectual property chapter. Expanded IPR protection can also derive from the unqualified treatment protection provisions found in IIAs. This note further explores possible reasons for the limited role played by investor-state arbitration in the enforcement of IPRs.
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