Article from: TDM 2 (2009), in Editorial
The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights through International Investment Agreements
Only a romance or true love?
The protection of Intellectual Property Rights ("IPRs") through International Investment Agreements ("IIAs") is in many ways a fascinating topic: From a legal point of view, it raises complex questions as to the interaction between IIAs, national IPR legislation and international conventions already dealing with IPRs. From an economic point of view, it triggers the question whether IIAs can help to reduce the damage caused by illegal infringement of IPRs and thereby promote a climate that is favorable to innovation and economic growth. From a policy point of view, finally, it adds to the ongoing debate about the right balance to be struck between, on the one hand, providing effective protection of foreign investments (including intellectual property) and, on the other hand, providing sovereign states with sufficient flexibility to address essential public interests such as health.
While the potential application of investment law to IPRs has been at issue since the earliest investment treaties were signed and while the topic is even more relevant in today's world, the body of work on this area is still in its infancy: cases are few and commentaries limited. The purpose of this Special Issue is to help to close this gap and to stimulate debate on the difficult matters expertly identified by the contributors. The articles in the issue have been prepared by a well-qualified and diverse group of authors, ranging from up-and-coming PhD students to well-established professors, including officials with international organizations and practitioners in international law firms. Together, they paint a complex picture of the interplay between IPRs and IIAs and will hopefully give rise to the much-anticipated further discussion of this under-explored subject.
As with any idea, this Special Issue could only be realized through the combined efforts of a lot of different people to whom we would like to express our gratitude. First of all, our thanks go to the authors for their excellent contributions and their patience with us as editors. Second, we thank our colleagues in Frankfurt and New York for their tireless support with regard to proof-reading and editing the issue, in particular Kyu-Won Choi, Valentina Vadi, and Bruno Migowski (Clifford Chance, Frankfurt) and Yasmine Lahlou (Chaffetz Lindsey, New York). Third, of course we are grateful to the TDM publishers and Mark Kantor as TDM's Editor-In-Chief for their constant support.
The idea however was not ours but - as so many other ideas - that of Prof. Dr. Thomas W. Wälde to whom we owe most of all. The Special Issue was of special interest to him, since it combined his fields of interest with that of his wife Charlotte Wälde, a professor of intellectual property law at the University of Edinburgh. Much has already been said about his various talents, such as his commanding intellect, stormy enthusiasm, and spontaneous generosity. We can only agree. We hope that this Special Issue that we, together with the authors, dedicate to him serves as a further practical testament to Dr. Wälde's ability to provide inspiration and to encourage the exchange of ideas that was always so central to his being.
Was ein Mensch an Gedanken und Inspirationen in die Welt hinausgibt,
geht nicht verloren und verweilt unendlich in uns fort.
The ideas and inspiration a man gives to the world
are not lost but live on through each one of us.
(Chaffetz Lindsey, New York)
(Clifford Chance, Frankfurt)