TPP FAQs: The Importance of Trade, IP, and Innovation

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Over the next couple weeks, twelve nations, including relative newcomers Japan, Mexico and Canada, will sit down in Brunei for the 19th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks. International negotiations like TPP present an important opportunity for the U.S. to lay the framework for economic growth via partnerships with other nations. As negotiations kick off, let’s explore some of the frequently asked questions about the TPP agreement.

  • What Role does Intellectual Property Play in the TPP? Innovator companies depend on IP protection to incentivize critical investments in the development of new technologies. Agreeing on strong intellectual property protections within international trade will support job growth within IP-reliant industries like pharmaceuticals and high-tech manufacturing.
  • Why 12-Years of Data Exclusivity? The size and complexity of biologic compounds make them inherently difficult for IP protection. Since biologics cannot be patented with a molecular formula, data exclusivity is critical to spurring investment in biologics. U.S. law provides innovator companies 12 years of data exclusivity for biologics as these new medicines undergo the regulatory approval process. Applying these standards internationally would help foster innovation, support economic growth, and ensure that countries like the U.S. can maintain economic competitiveness in the global marketplace.
  • What will the TPP do for Innovation? The TPP will provide the U.S. with exciting opportunities for trade in the Asia-Pacific region, the home to some of the most dynamic economies in the world. Unleashing the potential of patent-friendly trade agreements across Asia-Pacific markets will promote economic development, job growth, and future innovation for the benefit of all stakeholder nations.

Establishing a gold-standard trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region can incentivize investment and spur economic growth. Beyond the clear economic benefits, these standards support the development of innovative medicines to address the world’s most pressing health challenges. In this way, innovation-friendly trade agreements can help meet the health needs of patients around the globe.