In this second lecture for our Global IP Law Lecture Series, we are pleased to have Dr Henning Grosse Ruse Khan as our distinguished speaker.
International Intellectual Property (IP) law has shifted focus after the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) set out comprehensive global standards about 20 years ago: since the mid-nineties, most post-TRIPS treaties on substantive standards for IP protection are of bilateral, plurilateral or regional character. With multilateral solutions increasingly difficult to achieve, the world has witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) whose IP provisions contain obligations on the protection and enforcement of IP that go significantly beyond the standards of the TRIPS Agreement (TRIPS-plus).
While these developments have often been complained about, there has been little scrutiny on the role of TRIPS in a TRIPS-plus world. The speaker will make a case for the continued relevance of the TRIPS Agreement as an overarching, multilateral framework for TRIPS-plus FTAs. The main argument is Article 7 TRIPS , together with the public interest principles expressed in Article 8, form the object and purpose of the TRIPS Agreement. It will be argued that these norms are of integral character – such that the objectives they set out cannot be derogated from in bilateral or (mega) regional agreements amongst WTO members.
Dr Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan is a University Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of King’s College. In Cambridge, he is Co-Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law and a Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law.