Monday, May 19, 2008

Call for Papers: The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights through International Investment Agreements - Only a Romance or True Love?

Transnational Dispute Management has issued a call for papers for publication in a forthcoming special issue of its journal. The topic is "The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights through International Investment Agreements - Only a Romance or True Love?" Here's the call:

We hereby announced a forthcoming TDM special issue on "The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights through International Investment Agreements". This special issue will analyse the level of protection granted by International Investment Agreements (IIAs) in regard to Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

IPRs are today recognized as one of the most valuable assets within the international economy. Due to their intangible nature, they require worldwide protection against illegal copying or other forms of unjust exploitation. IPR-holders regularly complain that foreign governments refuse adequately to protect their rights or themselves engage in infringement. Such infringements might appear as acts, e.g., through the granting of compulsory licenses, or as omissions, e.g. in the form of denial of justice against infringements by private parties.

IIAs provide foreign investors with protection against certain forms of interference with investments by the host state. Many IIAs explicitly mention IPRs as one form of protected investment. Unlike other IPR-related international treaties, IIAs typically grant the investor the right to have an alleged breach of the treaty adjudicated through investor-state-arbitration. During the last decade, the number of investor-state-arbitrations has skyrocketed and reshaped the landscape of international investment law.

However, the protection of IPRs through IIAs remains relatively unexplored territory: cases are few and commentaries limited. This special issue of TDM will shed light on the interaction between IPR law and international investment law.

Possible topics might include:

  • An introduction to IPRs and the political risks associated with them
  • The international law framework for protection of IPRs, e.g., TRIPS and the WIPO conventions
  • A survey of the coverage of IPRs as protected "investments" in IIAs
  • Protection of IPRs in the context of Free Trade Agreements versus in Bilateral Investment Treaties
  • What do the concepts of "national treatment" and "non-discrimination" mean in the context of protection of IPR?
  • Indirect expropriation of IPRs: compulsory licenses and revocations of patents
  • Denial of justice through a lack of enforcement of national IPR laws?
  • Is investor-state arbitration an effective way to protect IPRs?
  • Impact of offering IPR protection on foreign direct investment flows
  • Public welfare exceptions in IIAs: How could these impact on controversial issues like GMOs and access to HIV drugs?
  • Are IPR-related protections in BITs undermining the level playing field offered by TRIPS, the WIPO conventions and other multilateral IPR treaties?
  • Remedies available under IIAs for breach of IPRs.

We hereby invite all those with an interest in the subject to contribute articles or notes on one of the above topics or any other relevant issue. Publication is expected in the fourth quarter of 2008. Proposals for papers should be submitted to the editors - James Hosking ( and Markus Perkams (, of Clifford Chance New York and Frankfurt, respectively.