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Jovan Kurbalija September 20, 2016

Marilia, thank you for comprehensive survey of evolution of e-commerce in WTO and current discussions. There are many links to other policy areas (standards, telecommunications, human rights). It is major challenge for IOs, missions and countries to address e-commerce in as comprehensive as possible way.

Vladimir Radunovic September 20, 2016

Great overview, thank you Marilia. I wonder if cyber-espionage - in terms of the industry and IPRs - will also become part of the WTO dialogue in future: namely, the tensions about stealing the industry secrets (especially on the US-China line) are growing; at the same time several bilateral (such as US-China and Germany-China) and multilateral agreements (such as G20 in 2015, or Nordinc-Baltic-US cyberdialogue) are setting as 'default' that countries shouldn't conduct or support cyber-theft of IPR or trade secrets 'with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors’ . Worth following further.

Marília Maciel September 21, 2016

Thank you, Vladimir. At the present moment, my impression is that discussion in the WTO TRIPS council is more focused on other intellectual property areas, such as copyright and trademarks. On these points, the concerns raised in the WTO largely overlap with WIPO's. Trade secrets are emerging in some more recent contributions. For example, the United States mentions the topic in their non-paper, in the context of protecting the source code. Definitely worth following.

Berna Akçalı Gür (not verified) September 29, 2016

This is a very informative summary. I am looking forward to reading about the outcomes of the WTO Public Forum sessions related to e-commerce.

William Drake (not verified) October 04, 2016

This is helpful intro, thanks Marilia. One might add that negotiations on digital trade occurred throughout the Uruguay Round begun in 1986 and resulted in binding commitments in the 1994 treaty. One of the challenges ahead is to read those commitments against measures enacted post hoc like data localization and barriers to data flow. Another is to clarify some of the key issues that have remained unresolved is the lackluster work program since 1998, particularly as they relate to the current Internet trade environment of platforms, IoT and such, e.g. possible revisions to the GATS/GATT/BTA; the classification of digital goods/services; competition; domestic regulation & necessity; market access and nondiscrimination in a networked environment; the problem of 'likeness' (compounded by 3D printing); mutual recognition and regulatory cooperation; customs duties; increasing developing country participation; and especially GATS Article XIV (General Exceptions). Maybe for the next blog? :-)

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