FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 13 September 2011.

Washington, D.C. IIPI announces the release of a study examining the “TRIPS-Plus” provisions of the 14 free trade agreements signed and implemented by the United States since the start of the WTO in 1995. The overall aim of the study is to examine the effects of the TRIPS-Plus provisions in the partner countries.

The study combines both econometric analysis and on-site interviews in the partner countries. The econometric analysis finds a positive association between greater intellectual property rights protection and trade. The on-site interviews explore what impacts, if any, TRIPS-Plus provisions have on economic development in the FTA partner country. The study suggests that future negotiations must consider the individual partner countries institutions, needs, and capabilities when considering IPR provisions.

Bruce Lehman, President of the International Intellectual Property Institute, welcomed the study’s practical value. “It’s difficult to convince trading partners to agree to increased IPR protection without demonstrating that they would benefit from such protections. The study suggests that developing countries do.”

The study is an independent study drafted to comply with the standards for reporting empirical social science research as established by the American Educational Research Association. It is a project funded jointly between the International Intellectual Property Institute and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Alexander W. Koff, the study’s principal investigator, is a Partner and Chair of the Global Practice at the law firm Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P. He will present the study’s findings on September 19, 2011, at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland as part of a panel moderated by the Global Intellectual Property Center addressing the lessons learned from regional and bilateral FTAs and assessing economic impacts as well as whether stronger IPR rules stimulate innovation. The panel is being held on the opening day of the annual WTO Public Forum. Laura M. Baughman, Joseph F. Francois, and Christine A. McDaniel from Trade Partnership Worldwide L.L.C. co-authored the study.

An electronic copy of the study can be found here.

IIPI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to using intellectual property to create jobs and increase competitiveness in developing countries. Bruce Lehman, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Commissioner of the USPTO, founded the institute in 1998 and continues to serve as its President and Chairman. Jorge Amigo Castañeda, former Director General of the Mexican Industrial Property Institute (IMPI), is its Vice Chairman.