Intellectual Property

Overview

The BCTT Intellectual Property Working Group, comprising a broad cross-section of companies that rely extensively on a strong framework of intellectual property rules and effective enforcement of IP rights, recognizes the modern and generally robust standards of protection for IP provided by both the United States and the European Union. The TTIP should underscore support for world-class IP protection and enforcement standards, assess and address areas for increased protection, and establish mechanisms for transatlantic cooperation to promote the adoption of similarly strong IP protection and enforcement in third countries.

Why Intellectual Property Matters

Intellectual property (IP) — including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and related rights —fuels successful and dynamic economies. As has been noted in numerous joint statements by the European Union and the United States, both partners recognize the importance of promoting effective and robust protection of intellectual property. The strong protections and enforcement provisions that both the EU and the United States currently provide in their domestic markets is evidence of this commitment and is an important foundation that should be recognized in the TTIP.

Robust IP frameworks that establish effective protection and enforcement mechanisms provide innovative and creative companies of all sizes and across sectors the incentives to commercialize and bring their products to market, which in turn facilitates the creation of jobs, continued innovation, public safety, and access to new technologies. In the United States alone, a U.S. Department of Commerce study found that IP industries support at least 40 million jobs, contribute more than $5 trillion or 34.8% to the GDP, and $775 billion in exports1.

Objectives for the TTIP Negotiations

  • Maintain and promote robust IP frameworks and effective levels of intellectual property protection in the European Union and the United States.
  • Meaningfully address measures that hinder IP protection and enforcement, such as those driven by industrial policy priorities or that otherwise impede market access and trade or undermine the rights of IP holders.
  • Utilize the TTIP negotiations to assess and address areas where both partners can achieve the goals of economic growth and job creation by strengthening IP provisions, recognizing the unique nature of the relationship and the frameworks that each country has already adopted.
  • Ensure that this agreement does not undermine the rights of trademark holders or prevent the use of common names in international commerce and that it addresses practices in Europe that weaken intellectual property protection, including by adequately protecting confidential commercial information submitted to marketing approval authorities from inappropriate disclosure.
  • Ensure that the outcome supports the ability of the United States and European Union to achieve robust IP protection in other negotiations, foreign markets and at the global level.
  • Pursue cooperative efforts to promote effective standards of intellectual property protection and enforcement internationally to level the playing field for U.S. and EU businesses and enhance the level of global innovation.

For more information about this working group, please contact:

Linda Dempsey, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
ldempsey@nam.org

Jake Colvin, National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
jcolvin@nftc.org

Ashley Mergen, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
amergen@uschamber.com

 


1 http://www.uspto.gov/about/ipm/industries_in_focus.jsp