Mar 05
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Intellectual Property Issues in Mega-Regional Trade: The Asia-Pacific’s RCEP in Global Context

Date: March 5, 2018 (Monday)
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Venue: Room 723, 7/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, the University of Hong Kong


Speaker: Jeremy de Beer
Full Professor, Centre for Law, Technology & Society, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa;
Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI);
Senior Research Associate, IP Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town


All are welcome!  Please register here as soon as possible.



In this talk, Professor de Beer provides a global perspective on regional innovation and intellectual property issues. He examines the Asia-Pacific Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP, in light of recent developments on other continents, and introduces key forces likely to reshape the international intellectual property landscape in the near future.

For decades, trade law has been key to the development of intellectual property norms. But the era of global multilateralism in international trade is over, and bilateral agreements rarely seem ambitious enough anymore. The world has shifted toward mega-regionalism. This shift requires strategic adjustments to both substance and procedure in negotiations. States must respond to the increasing complexity of forums and issues triggered by the worldwide proliferation of plurilateral, regional, and mega-regional agreements. Also, in this context, the role of sub-state actors, such as provincial governments and indigenous communities, has become more complex and more important.

RCEP is perhaps the largest of the large-scale regional agreements being negotiated around the world. But it is not the only one. The just-completed Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, bridges multiple continents. In Latin American and the Caribbean, there are several prospects to enlarge intra-regional trade centring around MERCOSUR, the Pacific Alliance, and other initiatives. Africa’s enormous Continental Free Trade Area, known as CFTA, would to transform intra-African trade and further strengthen the continent’s status as an emerging economic and geopolitical centre of power. And, while the United States retreats, another North American country—Canada—has pioneered a new model for cross-regional integration with the European Union via CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.


To learn how all of these mega-regional developments are impacting intellectual property norms, we invite you to hear Professor de Beer speak at Hong Kong University on March 5, 2018.


About the speaker: Jeremy de Beer is an award-winning professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and a co-founding director of the Open African Innovation Research network, Open AIR. He is an author and editor of several books, including Innovation and Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa; Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright; and Implementing the WIPO Development Agenda. He has also published dozens of refereed journal articles and book chapters. As a practicing lawyer and expert consultant, he has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, advised businesses and law firms both large and small, and consulted for agencies from national governments, global think tanks, and the United Nations. Read more about how his work shapes ideas about innovation, intellectual property, global trade and development at

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