Protecting Intellectual Property Rights Through International Investment Agreements: A Comparison of the EU and US Approach With Special Emphasis on Investments of High-Tech Companies

Research project


Gabriel M. Lentner


Intellectual property rights (IPRs), as an important element in technology transfer and production, play a key role in international investment. It is generally agreed that the strength or weakness of a state’s system of intellectual property protection has a substantial effect on the kinds of technology transferred to that country. Strong and effective protection of IPR is therefore an important factor in an investment decision taken by internationally operating corporations. This is particularly crucial in the IP sensitive area of high technology. Recent scholarship has demonstrated that standards of investment protection generally included in International Investment Agreements also protect forms of IPR, which generally provide for an effective enforcement mechanism for investors (Investor-State Dispute Settlement). This research project analyses and compares in detail the IPR protection offered by International Investment Agreements concluded by the US on the one hand and the EU and its Member States on the other. Based on these findings, this project shall determine whether these provisions are suitable for the protection of IPR of international investors and what treaty provisions offer better or more effective protection in comparison. This research is part of the Krems-Stanford research initiative in European and international law directed by Prof. Siegfried Fina at Danube University Krems, Austria.