On August 27, 2018, the Trump administration announced that it had reached a preliminary agreement with Mexico to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement. According to the official press release by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the “updated agreement will support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America”.

The new United States-Mexico trade deal includes modernizing the intellectual property (IP) chapter to provide strong and effective protection and enforcement of IP rights. One of the key highlights of the proposed IP chapter includes extending the minimum copyright term to 75 years for works like song performances. This has led to some confusion on whether the copyright extension would pertain to other classes of authorship. Currently in the United States, the copyright term for most works extends to life of the author plus 70 years. The proposed copyright extension was met with criticism by freedom of expression advocates, calling it “totally unnecessary.”

Some of the other key IP chapter updates in the United States-Mexico trade deal include:

  • establishing a notice-and-takedown system for copyright safe harbors for Internet service providers;
  • enhancing provisions for protecting trademarks; and
  • ten years of data protection for biologic drugs and expanding scope of products eligible for protection.

The full text of the preliminary agreement has not yet been released, and it will require congressional approval before it comes into effect.

Summary By: Anna Troshchynsky

E-TIPS® ISSUE

18 09 05