Intellectual property rights and the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement

Free trade Intellectual property Fair trading regulation Australia

The Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) covers a number of issues and this paper by David Richardson deals with Chapter 17 on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). It first examines AUSFTA's attempts to entrench or enhance Australia's already strong IPRs. The general economic arguments are examined as well as the Australian and US interests in stronger IPRs. Stronger IPRs protect rights holders from competition and so sit awkwardly with the aims of free trade. Some specific concerns have been expressed such as AUSFTA's implications when producers use copyright protection measures to practice price discrimination around the world and against the interests of Australian consumers.

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