The United States' wish list for the agreement includes a tighter regulatory regime for intellectual property (chiefly copyright and patent laws), which interest groups say could tie them - and us - in a dense legal web, affecting everything from our use of the internet and access to music, books and films to the fast-growing software development sector.
How real are the fears? With the negotiations cloaked in secrecy, we won't know until the deal is too far advanced to unpick. Unless our negotiators (and those of the other participants) can stare down the US position, there are fears IP freedoms could be sacrificed for our overriding goal of improved access for dairy and meat products to US markets. This could usher in a litigious environment of alleged patent and copyright violations - the kind which, in the US, is notorious for thwarting innovation, stifling competition and making patent lawyers rich.
Full article at New Zealand Herald