The European Union’s New Generation of International Investment Agreements and Its Implications for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

In: The Journal of World Investment & Trade
Siegfried Fina University of Vienna School of Law, Austria Stanford Law School USA

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Gabriel M. Lentner Danube University Krems Austria

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This article examines the potential challenges for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) through International Investment Agreements (IIAs) in light of the new generation of IIAs negotiated by the European Union (EU). It argues that it will be difficult in practice to succeed in enforcing IPRs through IIAs. The article will do so by examining in detail the criteria international tribunals have required in order to consider IPRs covered investments, and then analyzing the key protection standards considering the interaction between investment treaties and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Because negotiators have reacted to the legal issues raised in this context with new and innovative treaty language, this article will further examine these issues based on the EU’s IIAs. Their drafting practice should be taken as an indication that existing IIAs should be interpreted rather narrowly in respect of the protection of IPRs.

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