- When the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met recently, the group was not able to reach an agreement about patent protection. With the U.S. wanting 12 years of protection, and emerging market leaders wanting roughly 7 years, there is still a lot of room to negotiate in March when the group leaders reconvene.
- The 12 countries that have negotiated as part of the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
- Although India is not part of the TPP, many of the current intellectual property (IP) and patent issues are directly related to India's refusal in certain cases to honor patent-protection agreements.
In the case of TPP negotiations, the U.S. wields a great deal of influence and will most likely move the needle in terms of the length of patent protection closer to the 10-year or 11-year mark than the 7-year mark advocated by many of the smaller nations. Although the issue of IP integrity and patent protection has been contentious, especially between India and the U.S., recently President Barack Obama had a meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Based on feedback from the meeting, it appears that some progress was made, which bodes well for the TPP meeting in March.