FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — 24 January 2011. Washington, DC. The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) is pleased to announce the selection of Alexander W. Koff, Charles A. Schwartz, and Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC as consultants for its ongoing projects. The consultants will assist IIPI with studies on TRIPS-Plus free trade agreements and bilateral technical assistance and capacity building programs. Both projects are joint projects between IIPI and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

About the Projects

The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) set minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property rights for all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The United States (U.S.) has since entered into a series of free trade agreements (FTAs) that place additional requirements beyond the provisions of the TRIPS agreement. IIPI will develop a series of national case studies of the U.S.’s TRIPS-Plus trading partners. These case studies, based on interviews with industry leaders, seek to capture and compare the effects – both positive and negative – of TRIPS-Plus FTAs.

The U.S. currently provides technical assistance and capacity building to its trading partners and other foreign governments in order to help them strengthen their intellectual property rights protection regimes. IIPI will produce a study analyzing current technical assistance and capacity building programs. The study will identify and survey actual and potential exporters to determine whether there is a correlation between technical assistance and the growth of exports and other business activities that depend on intellectual property rights.

About the Consultants

Alexander W. Koff is a partner and chair of the Global Practice at the law firm Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLC.  He has served twice as an International Trade Expert for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). His government service as a trainee includes serving as a member of the U.S. delegation to the WTO with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in Geneva.  Mr. Koff is a Research Assistant at the Creative and Innovative Economy Center of the George Washington University Law School (CIEC) and has taught international trade as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He has also authored numerous articles on intellectual property rights and international law.  Mr. Koff is the Lead Senior Attorney for the TRIPS-Plus project and will also provide support for the technical assistance project.

Charles A. Schwartz is head of the consulting firm Commercial Legal Environment Advancement and Reform LLC (CLEAR) based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He served as Senior Commercial Law Reform Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he was responsible for projects developing and improving business environments in transitional countries in all regions of the world. Mr. Schwartz has also lectured at conferences on intellectual property and commercial legal reform, including a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Conference on Intellectual Property and Development, and at a Seminar in Korea on Intellectual Property and Branding sponsored by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Mr. Schwartz will lead the study analyzing current technical assistance and capacity building programs. He will also assist Mr. Koff in designing and conducting the case studies for the TRIPS-Plus project.

Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC is an international trade and economic consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. The organization uses economic analysis to produce information about the impacts of trade policies. The organization’s experience in econometric analysis will be essential in quantifying the complex issues involved with both projects.

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