The RCEP and Trans-Pacific Intellectual Property Norms




This Article examines the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with a focus on the intellectual property norms that it seeks to develop. The first half of the Article focuses on the RCEP Agreement as a mega-regional agreement. It begins by briefly discussing the historical origins of the RCEP. It then explores three possible scenarios in which the RCEP Agreement will help shape trade and intellectual property norms in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, the Article evaluates the scenarios in which the agreement will function as a rival pact, a building block, and an alternative path. The second half of this Article turns to a more specific focus on intellectual property norms that are being established through the RCEP negotiations. It not only discusses the latest leaked draft of the RCEP intellectual property chapter, but it also closely analyzes this chapter in five distinct areas: copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, and intellectual property enforcement. This Article then tackles the question concerning whether the RCEP Agreement will contain an intellectual property chapter—and, if so, whether such a chapter will look like the intellectual property chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The Article concludes by exploring whether the RCEP intellectual property chapter will, and should, contain high or low protection and enforcement standards.

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