TPP talks bog down over intellectual property rights

JIJI

The countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks made little progress on intellectual property rights at an interim meeting Monday because of lingering disputes between the United States and emerging economies.

To narrow down the key issues on which political decisions will hang at a ministerial meeting in December, the 12 members are looking to hold another meeting next month to discuss rules on patent and copyright protection, informed sources said.

It was the first time Japan had chaired a TPP meeting since formally joining the negotiations in July.

The TPP members discussed all remaining issues at the five-day meeting, Hiroshi Oe, Japan’s acting chief TPP negotiator, told a press conference.

Intellectual property rights are one of the toughest hurdles in the negotiations. More than 100 unresolved matters remain, including the potential for extending drug patent and data protection periods, a source familiar with the negotiations said.