Friday, October 4, 2013

Thai FTA IP stumbling blocks

The EU Thai FTA talks are attracting far more than usual attention. Talks ended a couple weeks back without a deal again. Demonstrators took to the streets in the northern city of Chang Mai - their T shirts read "Life is not for sale, IPR out of FTA". 

FTA Watch a local pressure group has been lobbying to pressure Thailand not to accept TRIPS Plus rules notably on patent expansion, data exclusivity and stronger IP enforcement.  To do so they say would breach 2010 Thai Parliament's rules on the FTA, which prohibit public health issues being subject to international arbitration. 

It seems that while trade in goods and services issues are largely agreed, the more sensitive IPR ones especially as to patents, are causing roadblocks, rather like the protesters!

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