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Applying Best Practice Principles to International Intellectual Property Lawmaking


This article applies the Max Planck Principles on Intellectual Property Provisions in Bilateral and Regional Agreements to several recently established or still-being-negotiated international lawmaking instruments. It identifies recent, fundamental changes and overarching patterns in the evolution in the procedures, institutions, and substantive outcomes of international intellectual property lawmaking. Specific analysis is provided of the Principles’ potential application to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO), and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (VIP Treaty). The article concludes that the Principles and other best practice guidelines for international intellectual property lawmaking can be usefully applied beyond orthodox bilateral and regional trade agreements. By adhering to the Principles, international lawmakers can help make the global knowledge governance system more transparent, participatory, legitimate, and effective.

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  1. 1.

    See for example Drahos and Braithwaite (2002).

  2. 2.

    Regarding “regime shifting” see generally Helfer (2004).

  3. 3.

    TRIPS: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, 15 April 1994, Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Annex 1C, The Legal Texts: The Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations 320 (1999), 1869 U.N.T.S. 299, 33 I.L.M. 1197 (1994).

  4. 4.

    ACTA: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, online:

  5. 5.

    See generally and

  6. 6.

    See generally

  7. 7.

    See for the African Union’s most recent draft statute constituting PAIPO.

  8. 8.

    De Beer and Bannerman (2013); Kapczynski (2008); Kapczynski and Krikorian (2010).

  9. 9.

    Max Plank Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law (2012), Preamble.

  10. 10.

    The most comprehensive analysis is contained in a book authored by Blakeney (2012); numerous other works are cited throughout this section.

  11. 11.


  12. 12.

    Remarks by US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, 23 October 2007, available online:, accessed 9 September 2013.

  13. 13.

    An analysis of the impact of ACTA on the enforcement of copyright in Canada can be found in Judge and Al-Sharieh (2012).

  14. 14.

    For further details on Mexico’s experience with ACTA, see Haggart (2013).

  15. 15.

    The actions of the European Parliament are partially explained by the findings of commissioned report by Geist (2012a, b, c). For more on ACTA’s European implications, see Geiger (2012a, b).

  16. 16.

    See for example Geist (2011, 2012a, b, c).

  17. 17.

    Geist (2012a).

  18. 18.

    Grosse Ruse-Khan (2010).

  19. 19.

    McManis and Pelletier (2010).

  20. 20.

    See, for example, Mercurio (2012) and Weatherall (2011a, b, c).

  21. 21.

    European Union Directorate-General for External Policies (2011), p. 6.

  22. 22.

    Yu (2011, 2012).

  23. 23.

    Bannerman (2012).

  24. 24.

    Rens (2011).

  25. 25.

    Malcolm (2010).

  26. 26.

    Levine (2011).

  27. 27.

    Weatherall (2011a, b, c).

  28. 28.

    Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, 18 July 2005, UNTS No. 46151, online:

  29. 29.

    United States, Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, Enhancing Trade and Investment, Supporting Jobs, Economic Growth and Development: Outlines of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, online:

  30. 30.

    Trans-Pacific Partnership, Intellectual Property Rights Chapter (draft 10 February 2011), online:

  31. 31.

    Geist (2012b).

  32. 32.


  33. 33.

    Flynn et al. (2011).

  34. 34.

    Geist (2013).

  35. 35.

    Flynn et al. (2012).

  36. 36.

    Letter from Knowledge Ecology International to Barbara Weisel, Office of the United States Trade Representative, Regarding Copyright Provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), online: KEI

  37. 37.

    Electronic Frontier Foundation, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement online:

  38. 38.

    Kingsmith (2013).

  39. 39.

    Letter to Michael Froman, Office of the United States Trade Representatives (5 August 2013) online:

  40. 40.

    Mike Palmedo, Chilean, Malaysian, and U.S. Government Officials Weigh in on Intellectual Property and the TPP, (20 August 2013) online:

  41. 41.

    Geist (2010, 2012c).

  42. 42.

    Lynas (2013).

  43. 43.

    Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (2010).

  44. 44.

    De Beer (2011).

  45. 45.

    De Beer (2005).

  46. 46.

    Ncube and Laltaika (2013).

  47. 47.

    Karjiker (2012); Kawooya (2012).

  48. 48.

    African Union (2006).

  49. 49.

    New (2013).

  50. 50.

    For detailed discussion of this history, see Knowledge Ecology International (2011).

  51. 51.

    De Beer (2009).

  52. 52.

    United Nations (2013).

  53. 53.

    Boyle (2004).


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The author gratefully acknowledges the research funding provided by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO), the research assistance of Phillip Holdsworth and Megan Martins, and feedback from Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan, Reto Hilty, Josef Drexl, and other participants at a 2012 workshop hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, delegates at the 32nd Annual Congress of the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property, the IIC editorial staff, and two anonymous peer reviewers.

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Correspondence to Jeremy de Beer.

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de Beer, J. Applying Best Practice Principles to International Intellectual Property Lawmaking. IIC 44, 884–901 (2013).

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  • Intellectual property
  • International trade
  • Max Planck Institute
  • ACTA
  • TPP
  • CETA
  • VIP Treaty