The RCEP Negotiations and Asian Intellectual Property Norm Setters

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This chapter closely examines the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Asian countries' recent efforts to set regional intellectual property norms. The RCEP negotiations are particularly important to Asian intellectual property developments because the RCEP remains the first and only mega-regional agreement that Asian countries have negotiated without the participation of either the European Union or the United States.

The chapter begins with a brief discussion of the evolution of the RCEP negotiations, noting the initial rivalry between the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the RCEP, the United States' withdrawal from the former and the adoption of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The chapter then highlights the different intellectual property provisions in the draft RCEP intellectual property chapter, focusing on the four main branches of intellectual property law as well as the areas of intellectual property enforcement and pro-development measures. Although this chapter analyses the only publicly available text of that chapter, which was dated October 2015, it also takes into account the CPTPP partners' suspension of select TPP intellectual property provisions as well as the time elapsed since the preparation of the draft RCEP text.

The chapter concludes by outlining the role of each Asian norm setter in the RCEP negotiations – namely, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, India, Japan and South Korea. Except for China, all of these negotiating parties have advanced draft negotiating texts for the development of the RCEP intellectual property chapter.

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Hart Publishing


Kung-Chung Liu & Julien Chaisse

Book Title

The Future of Asian Trade Deals and IP