Intellectual Property in Preferential Trade Agreements: What Treaties, What Content?



Preferential trade agreements have become a major source of international intellectual property regulation. This paper analyses the preferential trade agreements notified to the World Trade Organization and identifies which among them regulate intellectual property in a significant manner, which is the level of development of treaty members, what the general structure of the covenants is, what categories of intellectual property are covered and what areas of intellectual property enforcement are addressed in each treaty. The objective is to present the wider picture, describe the characteristics of intellectual property regulation via PTAs, and facilitate future research in particular areas of interest. The analysis of the 141 PTAs that regulate intellectual property in a meaningful allows drawing the attention on aspects such as the transplantation of intellectual property law and the increasingly detailed and demanding content of the treaties, as well as observing other probably unexpected features, particularly concerning intellectual property enforcement and the interests of developing countries.