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FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, aka the TPP, has been approved recently by 12 member states. If the published text of the treaty next is ratified by each state (a process that could take some time), then various important provisions will regulate trade between these member states.
The member states are the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Brunei.
The TPP, if fully ratified, among many other provisions, within the Intellectual Property chapter would require internet service providers, subject to some exceptions, to reveal identifying information relating to suspected copyright infringers in order to permit copyright holders to try to enforce their rights by way of civil and criminal proceedings.
In this context, the TPP would require the imposition of damages "adequate to compensate for the injury the right holder has suffered because of an infringement of that person's intellectual property right." To arrive at a proper damages award, the judiciary would be able adopt "any legitimate measure of value the right holder submits," and this potentially could include loss of profits, the recommended retail price, and the market value of the services or goods at issue, as reported by Zdnet.com.
The TPP, in its Telecommunications chapter, also would push the 12 member states in the direction of promoting transparent and reasonable costs for international mobile roaming services. This has been put in place to encourage the growth of trade and to improve consumer interests, according to Zdnet.com, but would not strictly require regulation in this area. Apparently, insufficient support among the members states was generated to mandate strict compliance.
Another aspect of the TPP, as set forth in the Government Procurement chapter, details that each of the 12 member states would be required to address vendors from the other states on the same plain as their own domestic suppliers when it comes to awarding government contracts.
We will watch and see if the 12 member states ratify the language of the TPP, and if they do, over time, we will witness whether the TPP accomplishes its intended goals.
Eric Sinrod (@EricSinrod on Twitter) is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. You can read his professional biography here. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please email him at email@example.com with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.