An overview of free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region with a particular focus on intellectual property

Christoph Antons, Dilan Thampapillai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in the Asia-Pacific region. It examines the multiple interpretations of the ‘Asia-Pacific’ and asks about the usefulness of this concept as a focus of comparison. It explains the political and economic background of concluded agreements, the negotiations in progress and the formation of regional clusters of FTAs, and also shows the enormous differences in IP content in the various agreements. With the exception of Japan, Asia-Pacific countries appear as relatively reluctant converts to higher IP standards. Even the industrialized economies of the region that had to increase their IP standards after agreements with the US, EU or Japan do not necessarily impose the same standards on regional neighbours. Instead, ‘soft diplomacy’ in IP matters is important to countries in the region, as is new subject matter for intellectual property protection such as traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntellectual property and free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region
EditorsChristoph Antons, Reto M. Hilty
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783642308888
ISBN (Print)9783642308871, 9783662510414, 9783642308895
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMPI studies on intellectual property and competition law
ISSN (Print)2191-5822
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5830


  • Asia-Pacific region
  • Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)
  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

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