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An Overview of Free Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific Region with a Particular Focus on Intellectual Property

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Antons,  Christoph
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Antons, C., & Thampapillai, D. (2015). An Overview of Free Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific Region with a Particular Focus on Intellectual Property. In C. Antons, & R. M. Hilty (Eds.), Intellectual Property and Free Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific Region (pp. 27-53). Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-B91B-0
Abstract
This chapter provides an overview of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in the Asia-Pacific region. It examines the multiple interpretations of the ‘Asia-Pacific’ and asks about the usefulness of this concept as a focus of comparison. It explains the political and economic background of concluded agreements, the negotiations in progress and the formation of regional clusters of FTAs, and also shows the enormous differences in IP content in the various agreements. With the exception of Japan, Asia-Pacific countries appear as relatively reluctant converts to higher IP standards. Even the industrialized economies of the region that had to increase their IP standards after agreements with the US, EU or Japan do not necessarily impose the same standards on regional neighbours. Instead, ‘soft diplomacy’ in IP matters is important to countries in the region, as is new subject matter for intellectual property protection such as traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.