Posts Tagged: "NAFTA"

Final USMCA Text is a Missed Opportunity for Innovation

Earlier this week, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reached an agreement with President Donald Trump on passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which if passed into law would replace the defunct and much maligned North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Not everyone is happy about the latest version of the USMCA agreed upon by the White House and House Democrats, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which continues to support the overall agreement but has great concerns about the new provisions in the latest negotiated agreement between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi, which strikes expanded protection for biologic drugs from the agreement completely. Over the summer, House Democrats vocally opposed granting 10 years of regulatory data protection (RDP) for biologics inventions—an increase from 8 years in Canada and from 5 years in Mexico—arguing it would result in higher drug prices and delayed entry for biosimilars.

Agreement on USMCA Strikes Expanded Protections for Biologics

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have reportedly reached an agreement on the much debated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would, if ratified, replace the defunct and maligned North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement, announced by Speaker Pelosi on Tuesday morning, comes as the House prepares to impeach President Trump, which makes it somewhat surreal, given that House Democrats seem poised to deliver President Trump a victory. During his presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump promised at nearly every campaign stop to renegotiate NAFTA. “It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” Ms. Pelosi said. “It’s a victory for America’s workers.” In remarks posted on Twitter, President Trump said: “America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions – tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!”

Amidst Push for a Summer Vote on USMCA, Report Argues RDP Requirement Would Not Raise Drug Prices

In the face of pressure to pull provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that would grant 10 years of regulatory data protection (RDP) for biologics inventions, a recent report claims that the requirement would not result in higher drug prices for U.S. patients. The USMCA is currently being negotiated, but the chances of a vote this summer are quickly dwindling. In addition to other objections, many Democrats have opposed granting 10 years of RDP—an increase from 8 years in Canada and from 0 in Mexico (the U.S. period of exclusivity is longer, at 12)—arguing it would result in higher drug prices and delayed entry for biosimilars. Patrick Kilbride, Vice President of International Intellectual Property for the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has argued here before that the data does not support those claims.

Urge the Drafters of the New Section 101 to Support Inventor-Friendly Reform

Senators and Representatives Coons, Tillis, Collins, Johnson, and Stivers recently announced in a press release a proposed framework to fix patent eligibility law in the United States. If written as proposed in the draft framework, section 101 may do harm to the patent system. The senators and representatives are now soliciting feedback on the draft framework. They are likely to take additional action on the framework as soon as early this week. Please send the following text with any of your edits to IntellectualProperty@tillis.senate.gov.

U.S. Patent System Jumps to Tie for Second Place in International IP Index

On February 7, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) released the latest version of its International IP Index assessing the intellectual property environments in 50 world economies. Once again, the United States achieved the top overall ranking as the strongest intellectual property regime in the world. The country’s improved ranking in patent rights—moving from its twelfth-place ranking in 2018 to a tie for second place this year—is particularly notable. However, the United States does find itself tied with 10 other countries for that second-place ranking in patent rights and is just as close to being tied with thirteenth-place Italy as it is to being tied with first-place Singapore.

Canada’s National IP Strategy Stoking Fears About Patent Trolls

The strategy also includes legislative changes to ensure ethical standards among patent and trademark agents and to “remove barriers to innovation, particularly any loopholes that allow those seeking to use IP in bad faith to stall innovation for their own gain.” And just who are these loophole-seeking bad faith actors seeking to bring the innovation economy of Canada to a grinding halt? Well, patent trolls, of course… It’s easy to point to the boogeyman of the patent troll but, in reality, concerns regarding such bad-faith actors tend to be overblown and have had the effect of nearly destroying the U.S. patent system in recent years. That decline has occurred even as the Federal Trade Commission has publicly said that the use of the term “patent troll” is prejudicial.

U.S. Chamber calls on NAFTA Countries to modernize and elevate IP frameworks

The letter explains that the results from the Chamber’s IP Index has shown that as a whole North America is at a considerable disadvantage compared with both Asia and Europe. “NAFTA modernization is an opportunity to elevate the IP frameworks to a level commensurate with the world’s leading economies – if it fails to put Canada and Mexico among the top 10 countries ranked on the Index it will be a missed opportunity,” the letter reads.

European Commission Unveils Digital Tax Proposal Which Could Generate Billions in Tax Revenues from American Tech Giants

The European Commission has recently proposed new tax rules that would significantly alter the tax regime faced by technology companies operating in the European Union, including American tech giants like Google and Facebook. The proposal from European authorities would tax tech company revenues in the country where those revenues are generated rather than where the companies are regionally located; supporters of the proposal note that this would keep tech companies from reducing tax payments by locating regional headquarters in European nations with lower tax levels.

Innovators and Content Creators Urge USTR Lighthizer to Fight for Strong IP in NAFTA Negotiations

ACTION for Trade asks Lighthizer to consider advocating for strong IP protections and robust enforcement to benefit a diverse group of industries, including digital content producers and distributors, biopharmaceutical firms and software developers… Along with strong patent policy, ACTION for Trade calls for the establishment of regulatory data protection (RDP) provisions which are consistent with U.S. law, especially where medical innovations are concerned. The letter to USTR Lighthizer notes that U.S. law recognizes a 12-year period of RDP for biologic treatments and a 5-year period of RDP for small molecule treatments. Such provisions would allow the original innovators of novel medicines to submit data on the safety and efficacy of medicines while shielding that data from others who might produce generics based on the data.

Renegotiate NAFTA to Make it the Gold Standard in IP Protection

As President Trump embarks on the renegotiation of NAFTA, it is critical that we seize the opportunity to make it the gold standard in intellectual property rights protections… The stakes are tremendous and cannot be ignored.  In total, it is estimated that intellectual-property theft costs the United States approximately $600 billion per year.  A recent New York Times article notes that this is the “greatest transfer of wealth in history”.

A NAFTA Challenge to Canada’s Patent Utility Doctrine is Necessary

Canada is not the first country that comes to mind as a threat to U.S. trade. After all, Canada is our largest goods trading partner, with $632 billion in total goods traded bilaterally during 2013. . . Over the last decade U.S. pharmaceutical companies have faced trade challenges in the form of a narrow interpretation of patent eligibility in Canada. Canada’s patent utility provisions are a serious threat to U.S. innovative industries, and therefore are legitimately being raised in NAFTA’s dispute settlement system.