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April 24, 2022


Given that in general, treaties negotiated by the President alone are NOT self-enacting into being US law, is there really anything here beyond "signaling" the "sense of Congress?"

"The Chamber contended that... '[a]ny agreement that undermines IP would limit the ability of innovative companies to develop the cure for the next pandemic or global health threat and bargain away US competitiveness.'"

This contention is hard to credit. If (e.g.) India or Malaysia totally abolished their patent systems entirely, I doubt that one would even be able to detect an effect on most companies. Indeed, I expect that the same could be said about a good many countries. What, for example, would be the global effect *really* of the disappearance of the Canadian or Australian patent systems? To a first approximation, I expect that there would be *no* effect on innovation worldwide, or even locally in those countries.

Those markets simply are not large enough to drive a change in R&D allocations, or any other input relevant to innovation outcomes. Effectively, I suspect that the CN, EP, JP, & US patent systems really matter (not necessarily in that order), and the rest of the world's patent systems probably do not. Therefore, the negotiation of agreements that permit (e.g.) BR, IN, ZA, etc. to weaken IP protections would probably have a de minimis effect on either companies or innovation.

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