25 Apr 2016, NCCR Working Paper

Intellectual Property Rights and Preferential Trade Agreements: Data, Concepts and Research Avenues

NCCR Working Paper by Manfred Elsig and Jenny Surbeck (WTI)


Today, more than half of international trade is regulated through preferential trade agreements (PTAs). While in the past, these agreements served as tools to eliminate further tariffs between the parties, today we witness the increasing inclusion of trade-related provisions such as Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection, competition clauses or behind-the-border regulation. This paper maps the variation of IPR provisions using three different concepts: the degree of IPR protection, IPR enforcement and multilateral coherence. In addition, it explores who are the main advocates of IPR protection and how successful are their approaches to embed IPR protection in PTAs?

This paper presents novel fine grained data which captures the variation in the design of IPRs in 661 PTAs building on the DESTA database (www.designoftradeagreements.org). We review the literature and provide a descriptive look on.the new dataset and outline future research avenues.

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