Intellectual Property and the Risks of Fragmentation
19 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 2018
The article analyzes the regulation of intellectual property rights in current trade negotiations, particularly the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) in Free Trade Agreements, within the context of the fragmentation of international economic law. The recognition of foreign GIs through Free Trade Agreements presents a set of conflicts between the protected GIs and other rights. Although Free Trade Agreements provide solutions to these conflicts within their texts, this situation may generate conflicts between GI protections and rights protected under other rules of international economic law. As a result, to the extent that there exist available remedies and dispute settlement mechanisms to claim breaches of those other rights, negotiating States are exposed to the risk of litigation in multiple jurisdictions brought by parties whose economic interests may be affected by the protection of foreign GIs. The existence of conflicts between rules from different areas of international economic law and the potential for contradictory decisions on the lawfulness of a State measure regarding foreign GIs are outcomes that deepen the fragmentation of international law and question the overall coherence of this regime.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Geographical Indications, Free Trade Agreements, Fragmentation, WTO Law
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