An analysis of TRIPS-plus protections relating to pharmaceuticals and geographical indications in CETA and the CPTPP Implications for a European Union – New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Laws
On 29 October 2015, the European Union (EU) and New Zealand announced their intention to commence the process for negotiations to achieve a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Closer trade relations would undoubtedly provide immense economic benefits to New Zealand. It would, however, come at a cost in certain areas. One area where concerns have been raised relates to intellectual property (IP) and the increasing trend of including higher levels or ‘TRIPS-plus’ protections in FTAs. This is particularly so in relation to pharmaceuticals and geographical indications, as stronger IP protection in those areas would come at a significant cost to New Zealand. Given the confidential nature of trade negotiations, the extent to which TRIPS-plus protections may be included within an EU-NZ FTA and the implications for New Zealand law remain unknown. This thesis seeks to address this issue.
First, a comparative interpretative analysis of TRIPS-plus protections relating to pharmaceuticals and geographical indications within recent FTAs concluded by each Party shall be conducted to identify those protections which may be included within an EU-NZ FTA. A further analysis shall be conducted to determine the domestic positions of the EU and New Zealand in order to shed light on the context of those FTAs and to identify any common interests or positions regarding IP protection. By succinctly identifying those TRIPS-plus protections which could be included within an EU-NZ FTA, a further discussion on the implications for New Zealand will then ensue. This discussion will seek to address such issues as whether New Zealand should implement TRIPS-plus protections and, if so, to what extent.