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The Impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on International Cooperation

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Edited By Elżbieta Czarny, Andżelika Kuźnar and Jerzy Menkes

This book gathers Polish and foreign scholars to consider diverse aspects of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It examines key general areas such as the improvement of the position of the negotiating parties in the world economy, in politics and in international organisations. The contributors analyze possible acceleration of non-discriminatory liberalisation negotiations, creation of new international standards or reducing regulatory differences, such as «Investor-state dispute settlement» (ISDS), public health, geographical indications. The contributions focus also on specific issues, such as the impact of TTIP on Polish and EU economy, on merchandise and services trade, energy supply, research and development, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), or on the third parties.

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Chapter 4. Geographical Indications in the US-EU TTIP negotiations

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Strong intellectual property protection is an essential part of free trade agreements (FTAs). In the current negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), one area of intellectual property rights that is certain to create disagreement between the EU and the US is that of geographical indications (GIs). The protection of geographical indications is perceived to be one of the most contentious parts of the TTIP negotiations.

Modern globalised economy seems to reduce the importance of the location or origin of goods. Nevertheless, it plays a crucial role in the ongoing debate around geographical indications in the TTIP, where the EU and the US policy approaches diverge markedly. Additionally the policy makers and scholars worldwide are currently deeply divided over the proper meaning and appropriate level of protection of geographical indications. There are several reasons influencing different approaches to GIs protection in the US and the EU: existing national legal systems, economic interests, historical background, etc. Simply put, the difference in the two approaches is that the European Union prefers sui generis protection for GIs, while the US approach is founded on traditional notions of trademark law. These significant differences have caused commentators to speculate over whether the two systems are nowadays at all compatible, as it is hard to see a deep TTIP compromise on geographical indications.

This chapter gives an overview of the European and American systems for protecting GIs. It describes differences in the historical background, explains differences between public...

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