Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Mercosur: advancing on IP

Mercosur is one of the sub-regional trade agreement existing in Latin America. It consists of 4 parties: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – Venezuela was suspended on December 1, 2016. The agreement regulates tariffs; rules of origin; technical barriers to trade; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; services; among others. However it does not have a unique set of regulations in regards to intellectual property as its counterpart The Andean Community (CAN) which members are Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru - Venezuela withdraw in 2006.

While Mercosur does not have a regulation on IP, it is discussing cooperation in this area. We heard that on February 1st all presidents of national IPO from these countries met “to discuss technical cooperation among countries and discuss IP proposals for international negotiations.”

Will this cooperation have anything to do with the EU and Mercosur pending FTA?
Image result for boxing negotiation
What I see as IP negotiation.
The EU is currently negotiating a trade agreement with Mercosur. Included in this trade negotiations is the topic of IP. The EU is Mercosur's first trading partner and it is the biggest foreign investor in the region (rising from €130 billion in 2000 to €387 billion in 2014 – see European Commission Trade here). Moreover, one of the EU's biggest export tradeable goods to Mercosur are chemicals and pharmaceuticals (24%), no doubt that the EU wants to negotiate an IP section. The next round of negotiation is in March 2017.

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